Self-management behaviour and support among primary care COPD patients: Cross-sectional analysis of data from the Birmingham Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Cohort

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Self-management support for COPD patients is recommended by UK national guidelines, but extent of implementation is unknown. We aimed to describe self-management behaviour and support among COPD patients and explore behaviour associated with having a self-management plan. We undertook cross-sectional analysis of self-reported data from diagnosed COPD patients in the Birmingham COPD Cohort study. Questionnaire items relevant to self-management behaviour, knowledge of COPD, receipt of self-management plans and advice from healthcare professionals were examined. Multiple regression models were used to identify behaviour associated with having a self-management plan. 1078 participants (676 males, 62.7%, mean age 69.8 (SD 9.0) years) were included. The majority reported taking medications as instructed (940, 94.0%) and receiving annual influenza vaccinations (962, 89.2%). Only 400 (40.4%) participants had self-management plans, 538 (49.9%) reported never having received advice on diet/exercise and 110 (42.7%) current smokers had been offered practical help to stop smoking in the previous year. General knowledge about COPD was moderate (mean total BCKQ score: 31.5 (SD 10.7); max score 65), corresponding to 48.5% of questions answered correctly. Having a self-management plan was positively associated with self-reported adherence to medication (OR 3.10, 95% CI 1.43 to 6.72), attendance at a training course (OR 2.72, 95% CI 1.81 to 4.12), attendance at a support group (OR 6.28, 95% CI 2.96 to 13.35) and better disease knowledge (mean difference 4.87, 95% CI 3.16 to 6.58). Primary care healthcare professionals should ensure more widespread implementation of individualised self-management plans for all patients and improve the lifestyle advice provided.

Keywords: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Self-management, Self-care, Primary Healthcare


Original languageEnglish
Article number46
JournalNPJ Primary Care Respiratory Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2017


  • Chronic Obstructive, Pulmonary Disease, Self-management, Self-care, Primary Healthcare