Understanding patients with asthma and COPD: insights from a European study

  • Primary Care Respiratory Journal (2011) 20, 315323 (2011)
  • doi:10.4104/pcrj.2011.00056
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To understand the needs of people with asthma and COPD, and to identify opportunities for improved care.


Quantitative questionnaire-based survey performed in five European countries on patients with asthma and COPD. Questionnaires were administered to patients using Computer Assisted Web Interview methodology.


1022 patients with asthma (UK [n=190]; Germany [n=214]; France [n=200]; Italy [n=222]; Spain [n=196]) and 719 patients with COPD (UK [n=153]; Germany [n=147]; France [n=145]; Italy [n=140]; Spain [n=134]) were enrolled in the study. 32% of those with asthma and 67% of those with COPD considered that their condition had a significant effect on their quality of life, and stigma and emotional distress was common. Many expressed concern regarding potential medication side effects or that medicines might lose their effect with time. Major discrepancies between expectations and patient satisfaction with the doctor-patient relationship were observed, including a need to be consulted in the choice of inhalers. Consultations were infrequent, and 75% of respondents sought additional information beyond that received during consultations - commonly from the internet.


Patient satisfaction was high but information needs were not addressed and the emotional burden of disease is underappreciated.

Author information


  1. Faculty Education Office (Medicine), Imperial College, London, UK

    • Martyn R Partridge
  2. Lung Department, Orlandi General Hospital, Bussolengo, Verona, Italy

    • Roberto W Dal Negro
  3. Department of Clinical Sciences, University of Parma, Parma, Italy

    • Dario Olivieri
  4. Scientific Advisory Board Chiesi Foundation, Parma, Italy

    • Dario Olivieri


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Competing interests

Martyn Partridge has received honoraria for lecturing or ad hoc consultancies from AstraZeneca, Chiesi, GSK, Boehringer, Cipla, Novartis, Dr Reddys Laboratories, German Remedies and Teva. He has received research support from AstraZeneca and financial assistance with the production of a book on the history of asthma charities from Novartis. Roberto Dal Negro has no conflict of interest to declare. Dario Olivieri has received honoraria for lecturing or ad hoc consultancies from AstraZeneca, Chiesi, GSK, Menarini, MSD,Novartis, Nycomed, OM-Pharma, Pierre-Fabre, Sigma-Tau, Boehringer Ingelheim and Pfizer. He has received research support from AstraZeneca, GSK, MSD, Novartis, Nycomed, OM-Pharma, Zambon, Chiesi, Italian Ministry of Health and Italian Ministry for University and Research. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Chiesi Foundation.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Martyn R Partridge.