Understanding patients with asthma and COPD: insights from a European study

Prim Care Respir J. 2011 Sep;20(3):315-23, 17 p following 323. doi: 10.4104/pcrj.2011.00056.


Aims: To understand the needs of people with asthma and COPD, and to identify opportunities for improved care.

Methods: Quantitative questionnaire-based survey performed in five European countries on patients with asthma and COPD. Questionnaires were administered to patients using Computer Assisted Web Interview methodology.

Results: 1022 patients with asthma (UK [n=190]; Germany [n=214]; France [n=200]; Italy [n=222]; Spain [n=196]) and 719 patients with COPD (UK [n=153]; Germany [n=147]; France [n=145]; Italy [n=140]; Spain [n=134]) were enrolled in the study. 32% of those with asthma and 67% of those with COPD considered that their condition had a significant effect on their quality of life, and stigma and emotional distress was common. Many expressed concern regarding potential medication side effects or that medicines might lose their effect with time. Major discrepancies between expectations and patient satisfaction with the doctor-patient relationship were observed, including a need to be consulted in the choice of inhalers. Consultations were infrequent, and 75% of respondents sought additional information beyond that received during consultations - commonly from the internet.

Conclusions: Patient satisfaction was high but information needs were not addressed and the emotional burden of disease is underappreciated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asthma* / therapy
  • Attitude to Health
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / psychology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / therapy
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires