open access

Vol 83, No 1 (2015)
ORIGINAL PAPERS
Submitted: 2015-01-08
Accepted: 2015-01-08
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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the awareness of Polish society. Report from the public opinion survey by the Polish Respiratory Society and TNS Polska

Paweł Śliwiński, Krzysztof Puchalski
DOI: 10.5603/PiAP.2015.0001
·
Pneumonol Alergol Pol 2015;83(1):1-13.

open access

Vol 83, No 1 (2015)
ORIGINAL PAPERS
Submitted: 2015-01-08
Accepted: 2015-01-08

Abstract

Introduction: It is assumed that signs of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can be found in 9.3% subjects of more than 40 years of age in general population in Poland. The aim of the presented survey was to assess knowledge of COPD in adult general population in Poland.

Material and methods: The study was performed in June 2013 in a representative sample of 1,000 persons of at least 15 years of age in Poland, using standardized direct interview.

Results: In 2013 only 3% Polish people admitted they had ever heard of COPD and knew what the acronym meant. Further 11% persons admitted having heard the term but had no further knowledge of the subject. Thus, the total of 14% persons in general population had previously heard of COPD albeit superficially. This figure is slightly higher as compared to the study performed in 2004. The second part of the study was performed in patients with COPD. Patients perceive the disease as a limiting factor in their daily lives, including negative impact on physical activity, causing loss of physical attractiveness (more often reported by women) or hurting their image of a strong and caring person (more often reported by men). The disease demands re-evaluation of the previous lifestyle, alienates patients from other people, and generates financial burden. Half of the entire studied general population either does not have any associations concerning potential causes of COPD or report various erroneous connotations (e.g. excessive alcohol consumption as a cause of the disease). Even patients with COPD have a similar view on causes of the disease. Importantly, the study revealed that awareness of the disease in smokers does not essentially differ from that in general public. Half of the res pondents admitted having no knowledge on prevention of COPD.

Conclusions: There is an urgent need for widespread public education on preventive measures. Study results support the need of educating both healthy subjects and patients with COPD as to how effectively reduce the risk of developing the disease. One third of all respondents has no assumptions in this regard (i.e. explicitly declares having no knowledge at all on the subject), and more than 40% subjects have various misconceptions. Educators should therefore spread information about the disease but also correct these misconceptions.

Abstract

Introduction: It is assumed that signs of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can be found in 9.3% subjects of more than 40 years of age in general population in Poland. The aim of the presented survey was to assess knowledge of COPD in adult general population in Poland.

Material and methods: The study was performed in June 2013 in a representative sample of 1,000 persons of at least 15 years of age in Poland, using standardized direct interview.

Results: In 2013 only 3% Polish people admitted they had ever heard of COPD and knew what the acronym meant. Further 11% persons admitted having heard the term but had no further knowledge of the subject. Thus, the total of 14% persons in general population had previously heard of COPD albeit superficially. This figure is slightly higher as compared to the study performed in 2004. The second part of the study was performed in patients with COPD. Patients perceive the disease as a limiting factor in their daily lives, including negative impact on physical activity, causing loss of physical attractiveness (more often reported by women) or hurting their image of a strong and caring person (more often reported by men). The disease demands re-evaluation of the previous lifestyle, alienates patients from other people, and generates financial burden. Half of the entire studied general population either does not have any associations concerning potential causes of COPD or report various erroneous connotations (e.g. excessive alcohol consumption as a cause of the disease). Even patients with COPD have a similar view on causes of the disease. Importantly, the study revealed that awareness of the disease in smokers does not essentially differ from that in general public. Half of the res pondents admitted having no knowledge on prevention of COPD.

Conclusions: There is an urgent need for widespread public education on preventive measures. Study results support the need of educating both healthy subjects and patients with COPD as to how effectively reduce the risk of developing the disease. One third of all respondents has no assumptions in this regard (i.e. explicitly declares having no knowledge at all on the subject), and more than 40% subjects have various misconceptions. Educators should therefore spread information about the disease but also correct these misconceptions.

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Keywords

COPD, survey, COPD in public awareness

About this article
Title

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the awareness of Polish society. Report from the public opinion survey by the Polish Respiratory Society and TNS Polska

Journal

Advances in Respiratory Medicine

Issue

Vol 83, No 1 (2015)

Pages

1-13

DOI

10.5603/PiAP.2015.0001

Bibliographic record

Pneumonol Alergol Pol 2015;83(1):1-13.

Keywords

COPD
survey
COPD in public awareness

Authors

Paweł Śliwiński
Krzysztof Puchalski

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