Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)



Capstone Mini Literature Review
Walden University HLTH 4900
Instructor: Professor Montrece Ransom







Capstone Mini Literature Review
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Good health is one of the essential requirements for human beings. However, diseases continue manifesting themselves and negatively affecting people. One of these diseases is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In terms of epidemiology, COPD is a chronic inflammatory lung disease. The disease triggers obstructed airflow from the lungs. COPD patients exhibit symptoms such as wheezing, sputum, cough, and breathing difficulty. The main causes of COPD include smoking, long-term exposure to polluted environments, and alpha-1 deficiency. In terms of statistical data, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention eludes that the disease affects over 15 million Americans. Additionally, over 150,000 Americans die of COPD annually. For that reason, many experts, researchers, clinicians, and medical professionals have conducted intensive research about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease to aid in prevention and treatment. Therefore, the primary objective of this paper is to perform a systematic mini literature review on the diseases based on various resources.
Capstone Mini Literature Review
According to the study conducted by the American Lung Association (2021a), COPD is caused by long-term exposure to irritants that cause complications in the airways and lungs. The disease is also caused by smoking tobacco that contributes to about 90% of the cases. For example, cigarette smoking releases over 7000 toxic chemicals that negatively affect the lungs, air sacs, and air tubes, thus causing COPD. The study also reveals that non-smokers exposed to pollutants can suffer from COPD. Hereditary through genetic is also a primary cause of COPD, especially in people with alpha-1 deficiency. American Lung Association (2021a) also presents risk factors for COPD, including asthmatic individuals, exposure to tobacco smoke, exposure to chemicals and dust, exposure to fumes from coal and charcoal, and genetics. Overall, the study advises smokers to quit smoking as a preventative measure for COPD.
The study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2011) focuses on the public health strategic framework for preventing COPD. For example, all the stakeholders provide their insights on preventing the disease from saving millions of Americans diagnosed with COPD. The study also reveals that men are more exposed to this disease than women, such that the mortality rate for men remains higher than for women with COPD. Patients with COPD exhibit symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, and wheezing. In terms of prevention, stakeholders advise people to quit smoking because at least 75% of COPD is caused by cigarette smoking. Overall, the student presents a treatment plan for COPD that includes encouraging people to be physically active and feed on a healthy diet. Smoking cessation and preventing exposure to chemicals, toxins, and pollutants can assist in self-management to meet public health goals.
The research done by Criner & Han (2018) indicates that COPD is a chronic disease that remains underdiagnozed and undertreated regardless of being among the most preventable diseases. In the United States, millions of people have suffered from COPD, and the mortality rate remains high. The country has used billions of dollars to fight COPD, but patients continue facing health complications associated with the disease. The findings indicate that many cases of COPD are associated with smoking. Criner & Han (2018) also elude that the disease continues overburdening women and vulnerable groups in low socioeconomic status. Overall, the research indicates that COPD can be prevented or combated through telemedicine, tele-rehabilitation, and . The use of the COPD National Action Plan is also fundamental in engaging key stakeholders to prevent, diagnose, treat, and promote health awareness to those at risk.
In another study conducted by Ding et al. (2017), COPD is considered a chronic disease that negatively and adversely affects patients. Although there is limited data on employment and the effect of symptomatic burden of the disease, the quality of life for many patients continues diminishing. Ding et al. (2017) assessed over 2,100 COPD patients in China, the United States, and Europe to determine how the disease affects their lives by collecting data based on WPAI and CAT. The findings indicate that most COPD patients exhibited high symptom levels even after undergoing COPD treatment. The study also revealed that patients exhibited increasing symptoms due to an increase in HCRU, thus affecting the productivity of patients at workplaces.
Dritsaki et al. (2016) perform a cost-utility analysis to determine how coping, education and self-management programs associate with COPD. The study also involved the analysis of 30 primary care settings through a randomized controlled trial. Therefore, the economic evaluation on SPACE for COPD depicts its cost-effectiveness that brings clinical improvements. Overall, the authors also elude that patients adhere to recommended community physiotherapist visits, respiratory clinic visits, and emergency department visits after .
Gardener et al. (2017) argue that battling COPD can be overwhelming for most patients. Therefore, it is fundamental to understand the burden associated with managing COPD to offer the most suitable support needed by patients to manage their lives with COPD. The study eluded that and can play critical roles in determining support needs for COPD patients. Gardener et al. (2017) relied on systematic searches to determine the various support needed, such as understanding the disease, medication and symptom management, modifying lifestyles, and controlling feelings and worries. The support needs also included providing physical and financial support, building strong family relationships, fighting depression and anxiety, and encouraging COPD patients to embrace social and recreational life. All the mentioned domains indicate that patients can manage their lives and that relies on the Support Needs Approach for Patients.
Pleasants et al. (2016) focus on the healthcare disparities affecting COPD patients. Although some countries have made remarkable milestones in fighting COPD, some areas continue facing a disproportionate burden of COPD due to disparities that affect smokers, those working in polluted environments, and people of low socioeconomic status. In other words, polluted occupation, massive use of tobacco, intrauterine and childhood exposures, and household and indoor pollution remain the primary risk factors for COPD for those in low socioeconomic status as eluded by Pleasants et al. (2016).
Lastly, Rinne et al. (2017) conducted a study to determine hospital readmissions associated with COPD. The study indicates that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have implemented various plans to reduce hospital readmissions for COPD. For that reason, Rinne et al. (2017) examine the correlation between COPD readmissions and other quality measures based on the findings from 3,075 hospitals. The study compared readmission to other measures and realized a modest correlation with other diseases such as stroke, pneumonia, acute myocardial infection, and heart failure.
To sum, COPD continues threatening the lives of many people worldwide. Various studies have been conducted to better understand how to diagnose, prevent, and treat the disease. Therefore, it is paramount to implement insights from these resources to reduce COPD prevalence and reduce mortality associated with it. Most importantly, some of the prevention measures will also significantly help people prevent other diseases such as cancer that are highly attributed to smoking and exposure to toxins, chemicals, and other pollutants.








American Lung Association. (2021a). COPD causes and risk factors.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). Public health strategic framework for COPD prevention.
Criner, R. N. & Han, M.K. (2018, May). COPD Care in the 21st Century: A public healthpriority. Respiratory Care 63(5), 591-600.
Ding, B., Small, M., Bergstrom, G., & Holmgren, U. (2017). COPD symptom burden: impact on health care resource utilization, and work and activity impairment. International journal of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 12, 677-689.
Dritsaki, M., Johnson-Warrington, V., & Mitchell, K. (2016). An economic evaluation of a self-management programme of activity, coping and education for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Chronic Respiratory Disease, 13(1), 48-56.
Gardener, A. C., Ewing, G., Kuhn, I., & Farquhar, M. (2018). Support needs of patients with COPD: a systematic literature search and narrative review. International journal of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 13, 1021-1035.
Pleasants, R. A., Riley, I. L., & Mannino, D. M. (2016). Defining and targeting healthDisparities in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. International journal of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 11, 2475-2496.
Rinne, S. T., Castaneda, J., Lindenauer, P. K., Cleary, P. D., Paz, H. L., & Gomez, J. L. (2017). Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease readmissions and other measures of hospital quality. American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine, 196(1), 47-55.





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