Patients and caregivers' knowledge of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Patients and caregivers' knowledge of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease



Knowledge of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is important for the disease self-management.


This study aimed to assess the level of knowledge in Italian patients with COPD and their caregivers and to determine factors influencing their knowledge.


We used a descriptive-correlational design. Knowledge was assessed with the Bristol COPD knowledge questionnaire (BCKQ) that was translated in Italian through the forward-backward translation method. BCKQ was administered to a convenience sample of 142 patients with COPD and 51 caregivers.


The mean age for patients and caregivers was respectively 77 years (range 45-93) and 62 years (range 28-85). Patients were mostly men, had a low education level and 30% had severe or very severe COPD, while caregivers were mostly female and with higher education level. The patients answered correctly to 48% of the BCKQ whereas caregivers to 59%. In patient-caregiver dyads, a good level of agreement on the knowledge was found in 35 items out of 65. In patients, the knowledge was not correlated with age, gender, education, years or severity of disease whereas in caregivers it was fairly correlated with the education level.


Our study showed that patients and caregivers possess limited knowledge of COPD, especially on chest infections, and exacerbations. Factors that limit or promote the acquisition of knowledge in people with COPD and their caregivers should be investigated.



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