Optimizing safety of COPD treatments: role of the nurse practitioner
Pamela Spencer,1 Nicola A Hanania2
1Palliative Care and Surgery, Veteran's Affairs Medical Center, Saginaw, MI, USA; 2Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA
Abstract: As the prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) continues to grow, management of the disease still faces considerable challenges. Despite the existence of effective pharmacological treatments, patient adherence is often poor. Side effects of medications and patients' concerns about potential side effects may contribute to poor adherence. Situated as they are at the frontline of patient care in the clinic, nurse practitioners play an important role in the management of COPD. This review discusses the current literature on medications available for management of COPD, focusing primarily on their safety and tolerability. This information can be particularly important for nurse practitioners, who can be invaluable in identifying side effects, and providing education to patients with COPD on the available treatments and the associated side effects. By helping patients to understand the balance of benefits and risks of treatment, nurse practitioners may be able to help improve adherence and thereby improve patient outcomes.
Keywords: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, safety, treatment, role, nurse practitioner