Module A: Prevalence and Pathophysiology

CE Credits: 1.25

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This module explores the reasons why many patients do not get diagnosed with COPD until it has progressed to at least a moderate level. It describes how the disease has increased over the years, both in its affect on the population and in its costs. It also covers the pathophysiology of COPD: how the disease begins, how it progressively affects the airways and lungs and—perhaps most important—how smoking can contribute to COPD. Finally, it covers how other diseases, such as asthma and congestive heart failure, co-exist with COPD.

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Learning objectives: After completing this module the case manager will be able to:
» Describe the prevalence and economic impact of COPD
» Discuss the definition and natural history of COPD
» Describe the effects of smoking
» Review the pathophysiology of COPD
» Discuss COPD companion diseases

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Advance your professional practice: As case managers, understanding the symptoms and progression of COPD can help identify early signs of the disease in patients, when it is more treatable. Being able to educate patients who smoke about the threat of COPD also gives case managers a vivid way to encourage those patients to quit smoking before they develop COPD.

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Improve organizational performance: Improving our knowledge about COPD and our ability to detect the disease as early as possible can help case managers to lower the number of hospitalizations and negative outcomes related to the disease.