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A qualitative study of GP, nurse and practice manager views on using targeted case-finding to identify patients with COPD in primary care

Summers, R. H., Sharmeen, T., Lippiett, K., Gillett, K., Astles, C., Vu, L., Stafford-Watson, M., Bruton, A., Thomas, M. and Wilkinson, T. (2017) A qualitative study of GP, nurse and practice manager views on using targeted case-finding to identify patients with COPD in primary care. npj Primary Care Respiratory Medicine, 27 (1). 49. ISSN 2055-1010

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1038/s41533-017-0049-3


‘Finding the missing millions’ with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease became part of the Department of Health strategy for England in 2010. Targeted case-finding within primary care is one potential pro-active strategy, but currently little is known about the views of healthcare professionals on this approach. In this study, 36 healthcare professionals (12 GPs, 14 nurses, and 10 practice managers) from 34 UK practices participated in semi-structured telephone interviews about targeted case-finding. Interviews followed an interview guide, were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, coded and analysed using ‘Framework Approach’. Most of those interviewed practiced opportunistic case-finding. The main perceived barriers to wider case-finding programmes were the resource implications associated with running such programmes and identifying more chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients. Financial incentives, support from specialist clinicians, and comprehensive guidance were viewed as facilitators. While targeted case-finding is conceptually accepted by primary care staff, scepticism surrounding (1) the value of identifying those with mild disease and (2) the availability of effective targeted case-finding methods, may lead some to favour an opportunistic approach. Key concerns were a lack of unequivocal evidence for the relative benefits vs. disadvantages of diagnosing patients earlier, and resource constraints in an already over-burdened system. Barriers to practical implementation of case-finding studies may be addressed with financial, human and educational resources, such as additional staff to undertake searches and perform spirometry tests, and practical and educational support from specialist teams.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > School of Pharmacy
ID Code:72667
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group


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