Comprehensive care of the patient with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Recently, an expert committee endorsed by the American Thoracic Society, European Respiratory Society, Japanese Respiratory Society, and the Latin American Thoracic Society published an evidence-based guideline on the management of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). In the current document, we summarize and supplement this recent expert document and propose a comprehensive approach to the care and management of patients with IPF.

Recent findings

We propose three pillars of care for the patient with IPF titled ‘disease-centered management’, ‘symptom-centered management’, and ‘education and self-management’. Disease-centered management involves both pharmacological and nonpharmacological approaches. Palliative care should be an integral and routine component of the care of patients with IPF. Education and self-management strengthens the provider–patient partnership by enabling patients to set realistic goals, remain in control of his or her care, and prepare for the future.

Summary

The comprehensive care of the patient with IPF involves balancing the three pillars of disease-centered management, symptom-centered management, and patient education and self-management upon a solid foundation of provider–patient partnership. Constant reassessment of the individual patient's goals of care, based on their values and preferences, is essential to the constant recalibration of these various interventions.

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