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New Role for Medical Practitioners: COPD Patient Motivational Intervention

Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) often also suffer from psychosocial co-morbidity, the combination of multiple medical conditions at one time that affects the mental state. It’s a combination that makes it more difficult for patients to find motivation to engage in physical activities.

A study published in the October issue of BMC Family Practicehighlights the positive effects and “enduring motivational benefits” of psychological motivational intervention by liaison health workers (LHWs) to address the psychosocial needs of COPD patients. Because it requires long-term care and attention, COPD represents a serious challenge to health public services. Clinicians and providers are not available as long-term caregivers, leaving many patients to rely on self-management of the condition.

The study, described as a “short-term intervention”, involved 29 COPD patients and used 13 LHWs to assess the behavioral activation, cognitive restructuring and medication management of patients using liaison skills to adjust patient behavior to improve self-management.

The LHWs reported seeing a “positive impact on work targeting patients’ psychosocial requirements.” Based on these findings study authors suggest that “LHWs practices should be adopted to induce motivational changes in patients with COPD and other long-term conditions.”

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