Multidimensional assessment and tailored interventions for COPD: respiratory utopia or common sense?

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Abstract

Introduction

The rising disease burden from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) requires new approaches.

Method

We suggest an approach based around three elements: inflammometry and multidimensional assessment to identify therapeutic targets and case management to design and implement an individualised treatment programme based on these assessments.

Discussion

This tailored approach to treatment would maximise efficacy, limit cost and permit a better risk–benefit ratio of treatment. The advantages include the ability to add up the benefits of individual therapies leading to a cumulative therapeutic benefit that is greater than each individual therapy alone. We can now design a multifaceted inflammometry intervention for airway diseases based on targeting eosinophilic inflammation, non-eosinophilic pathways and systemic inflammation. COPD is a complex and challenging disease. The use of inflammometry and multidimensional assessment is necessary to identify relevant treatment targets and maximise the scope of therapy while limiting unnecessary use of drugs. An individualised programme of management can be designed and coordinated by using a case manager. This new approach may provide tangible benefits to people with COPD.

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