Australian Family Physician
Australian Family Physician


Volume 39, Issue 3, March 2010

COPD Diagnosis, management and the role of the GP

Julia Walters
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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common condition characterised by breathlessness, cough and sputum production. However these are nonspecific, common symptoms which may be misattributed; resulting in a possible underdiagnosis of COPD.
To outline the current views on COPD diagnosis and management with a focus on the role of the general practitioner.
An initial important step is to consider and confirm the diagnosis of COPD. Management of COPD focuses on optimising function, preventing deterioration, developing support networks and self management, and managing exacerbations.

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