Comprehensive care of the patient with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2011 Sep;17(5):348-54. doi: 10.1097/MCP.0b013e328349721b.


Purpose of review: Recently, an expert committee endorsed by the American Thoracic Society, European Respiratory Society, Japanese Respiratory Society, and the Latin American Thoracic Society published an evidence-based guideline on the management of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). In the current document, we summarize and supplement this recent expert document and propose a comprehensive approach to the care and management of patients with IPF.

Recent findings: We propose three pillars of care for the patient with IPF titled 'disease-centered management', 'symptom-centered management', and 'education and self-management'. Disease-centered management involves both pharmacological and nonpharmacological approaches. Palliative care should be an integral and routine component of the care of patients with IPF. Education and self-management strengthens the provider-patient partnership by enabling patients to set realistic goals, remain in control of his or her care, and prepare for the future.

Summary: The comprehensive care of the patient with IPF involves balancing the three pillars of disease-centered management, symptom-centered management, and patient education and self-management upon a solid foundation of provider-patient partnership. Constant reassessment of the individual patient's goals of care, based on their values and preferences, is essential to the constant recalibration of these various interventions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Comprehensive Health Care*
  • Goals
  • Humans
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / therapy*
  • Palliative Care
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Self Care