PURPOSE: Using data from the Continuing to Confront COPD International Physician and Patient Surveys, this paper describes physicians' attitudes and beliefs regarding chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) prognosis, and compares physician and patient perceptions with respect to COPD.

METHODS: In 12 countries worldwide, 4,343 patients with COPD were identified through systematic screening of population samples, and 1,307 physicians who regularly saw patients with COPD were sampled from in-country professional databases. Both patients and physicians completed surveys about their COPD knowledge, beliefs, and perceptions; physicians answered further questions about diagnostic methods and treatment choices for COPD.

RESULTS: Most physicians (79%) responded that the long-term health outlook for patients with COPD has improved over the past decade, largely attributed to the introduction of better medications. However, patient access to medication remains an issue in many countries, and some physicians (39%) and patients (46%) agreed/strongly agreed with the statement "there are no truly effective treatments for COPD". There was strong concordance between physicians and patients regarding COPD management practices, including the use of spirometry (86% of physicians and 76% of patients reporting they used/had undergone a spirometry test) and smoking cessation counseling (76% of physicians reported they counseled their smoking patients at every clinic visit, and 71% of smoking patients stated that they had received counseling in the past year). However, the groups differed in their perception about the role of smoking in COPD, with 78% of physicians versus 38% of patients strongly agreeing with the statement "smoking is the cause of most cases of COPD".

CONCLUSION: The Continuing to Confront COPD International Surveys demonstrate that while physicians and patients largely agreed about COPD management practices and the need for more effective treatments for COPD, a gap exists about the causal role of smoking in COPD.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, v. 10, no. 1, p. 159-172.

© 2015 Menezes et al.

This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. Permissions beyond the scope of the License are administered by Dove Medical Press Limited. Information on how to request permission may be found at: http://www.dovepress.com/permissions.php

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Funding Information

The authors acknowledge editorial support in the form of draft manuscript development, assembling tables, collating author comments, and copyediting, which was provided by Kate Hollingworth of Continuous Improvement Ltd. The authors further acknowledge the analytical support provided by Joe Maskell. This support was funded by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

This study was funded by GSK.

COPD-74315-TS01.png (53 kB)
Table S1: Physician beliefs about COPD outlook compared to 10 years ago by country: Continuing to Confront COPD International Survey, 2012–2013

COPD-74315-TS02.png (27 kB)
Table S2: Physician beliefs and knowledge about COPD prognosis and treatment by country: Continuing to Confront COPD International Survey, 2012–2013

COPD-74315-TS03.png (38 kB)
Table S3: Reasons why patients with COPD do not have access to the treatment the physician wishes to prescribe, by country: Continuing to Confront COPD International Survey, 2012–2013

COPD-74315-TS04.png (63 kB)
Table S4: Physician perception of patient compliance with treatment instructions, by country: Continuing to Confront COPD International Survey, 2012–2013

COPD-74315-TS05.png (35 kB)
Table S5: Comparison of physician and patient beliefs by country: Continuing to Confront COPD International Survey, 2012–2013

COPD-74315-TS06.png (28 kB)
Table S6: Multivariate model of predictors of patient’s disagreement* with the statement “Smoking is the cause of most cases of COPD”: Continuing to Confront COPD International Survey, 2012–2013