COPD - Diagnosis, management and the role of the GP

Aust Fam Physician. 2010 Mar;39(3):100-3.


Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common condition characterised by breathlessness, cough and sputum production. However these are nonspecific, common symptoms which may be misattributed; resulting in a possible underdiagnosis of COPD.

Objective: To outline the current views on COPD diagnosis and management with a focus on the role of the general practitioner.

Discussion: An initial important step is to consider and confirm the diagnosis of COPD. Management of COPD focuses on optimising function, preventing deterioration, developing support networks and self management, and managing exacerbations.

MeSH terms

  • Bronchodilator Agents / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Oxygen Inhalation Therapy
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / diagnosis*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / etiology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy*
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Risk Factors
  • Self-Help Groups
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Spirometry


  • Bronchodilator Agents