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Management of co-morbidities in COPD

Module summary

This case-based module will guide you through the latest evidence in managing comorbidities in COPD.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a disease that requires a holistic, patient-centred approach to management. Multiple morbidities commonly coexist in COPD patients, with nearly half of patients having three or more diagnoses in addition to COPD. A holistic approach enables primary health care professionals to address patients’ diverse long-term conditions and their psychosocial needs.

There are times when a patient with COPD may require specialist attention; however, the primary care team provides continuity of care and ensures that the patient’s individual needs remain the central focus. The Primary Care Respiratory Society has produced a guide named ‘Diagnosis and Management of COPD in Primary Care’ that contains a chapter describing the holistic approach to care for COPD patients. Further to this, the following module offers a case-based learning approach to the diagnosis and management of comorbidities in COPD patients.

Learning objectives

This module will:

  • Update you on the clinical consequences of common comorbidities in COPD
  • Help you gain confidence in managing these comorbidities and their complications
  • Remind you of when to refer patients for specialist care

Author details

This module was developed by Dr Helen Ward, the lead clinician for integrated respiratory disease care in the acute trust at Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust.

List of abbreviations
 ACE  Angiotensin-converting enzyme  DEXA  Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry
 AF  Atrial fibrillation  ECG  Electrocardiogram
 BMD  Bone mineral density  FEV1  Forced expiratory volume in 1  second
 BMI  Body mass index  FVC  Forced vital capacity
 BNP  Brain (B-type) natriuretic peptide  GOLD  Global Initiative for Chronic Lung Disease
 CAST  Chinese Acute Stroke Trial  NICE  National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
 COPD  Chronic obstructive pulmonary  disease  NT  proBNP  N-terminal-proBNP
 CVD  Cardiovascular disease  TTE  Transthoracic echocardiogram

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  • Complete the module and access your certificate
  • Save your progress in a module and come back later, if you don't want to complete it in one sitting
  • Revisit your completed modules anytime to refresh your memory and reflect on what you have learned

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The Primary Care Respiratory Academy has been developed and is produced by Cogora, the publisher of Pulse, Nursing in Practice and Healthcare Leader working in partnership with PCRS-UK. All educational content for the website and roadshows has been initiated and produced by PCRS-UK/Cogora.

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