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Current care services provided for patients with COPD in the Eastern province in Saudi Arabia: a descriptive study

Authors Alsubaiei M, Cafarella P, Frith P, McEvoy RD, Effing TW

Received 28 May 2015

Accepted for publication 18 August 2015

Published 4 November 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 2379—2391


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 6

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Mohammed E Alsubaiei,1,2 Paul A Cafarella,1,2 Peter A Frith,1,2 R Doug McEvoy,2,3 Tanja W Effing1,2

1Repatriation General Hospital, Department of Respiratory Medicine, Adelaide, SA, Australia; 2Flinders University, School of Medicine, Adelaide, SA, Australia; 3Repatriation General Hospital, Sleep and Respiratory Medicine, Southern Adelaide Local Health Network, Daw Park, SA, Australia

Background: COPD is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The prevalence rate of COPD in the general Saudi population is estimated to be 2.4% and 14.2% among smokers. Not much is known about current health care services for patients with COPD in Saudi Arabia. The objective of this study was to determine the current care services for patients with COPD provided by government hospitals in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia. Directors of the Department of Internal Medicine from all 22 general government hospitals that are under the responsibility of the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Higher Education in this region were asked to participate. Data were collected using a questionnaire.
Results: The study results indicated that there are limited hospital facilities for patients with COPD: no respiratory departments in any of the included hospitals, no spirometry in 77.3% of the hospitals, no intensive care units in 63.7% of the hospitals, and no pulmonary rehabilitation program in any of the hospitals. Among the included 22 hospitals, 24 respiratory physicians, 29 respiratory therapists, and three physiotherapists were involved in COPD care.
Conclusion: In conclusion, current care services provided by government hospitals in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia for patients with COPD do not meet international recommendations for COPD management. Increased awareness, knowledge, and implementation of COPD guidelines by health care providers will most probably improve COPD management in Saudi Arabia. In addition, the government could improve dissemination of information about COPD management through national programs and by offering specific education regarding respiratory diseases.

Keywords: health services, pulmonary disease, chronic obstructive, Saudi Arabia, hospitals, general

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