INTRODUCTION Patient knowledge on important self-management topics of COPD is low. Education component of pulmonary rehabilitation may increase knowledge, facilitate health behavior change and improve self-efficacy. The aim of the study was to explore specific to disease knowledge in Greek patients with COPD, before entering in a pulmonary rehabilitation program with education component. METHODS Twenty-four patients with COPD (15 males), aged 55–75 years (GOLD I-IV) underwent a semi-structured interview that assessed six important self-management topics and completed the Bristol COPD Knowledge Questionnaire (BCKQ). Qualitative data were analyzed with deductive content analysis and methodological triangulation with the quantitative data was incorporated. RESULTS Qualitative data revealed a low level of knowledge on medication (4–58% of the participants were aware about medication use and any adverse effects), on symptoms and exacerbation management (17% were aware for dyspnea management techniques; 29% used short-acting bronchodilators to manage increased dyspnea). Only 13% of the participants have been informed by their physicians about exacerbation signs. Quantitative data showed total BCKQ score: 45.96% low knowledge shown in medication (inhaled bronchodilators 23.3%, antibiotics 42.5%, oral steroids 29.2%, inhaled steroids 7%), breathlessness 43.4% and infections 36.7%. CONCLUSIONS The knowledge of Greek patients on topics that are important for the self-management of COPD was low. Qualitative methodology efficiently assisted in pointing out knowledge gaps and misconceptions. These data can contribute to the design of a participant-specific education program for knowledge improvement on these topics, which may increase their self-efficacy in self-management.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Education of patients
- Health knowledge
- Qualitative research