chapter  11
34 Pages

Respiratory disorders and their treatment

ByThomas L. Creer, John A. Winder

This book is replete with illustrations of the many ways medical and behavioral scientists are involved in the treatment of chronic respiratory disorders, particularly asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Besides applying behavioral change techniques that impact the disease process itself – e.g., smoking cessation programs for COPD patients – behavioral and medical scientists have attempted to synthesize their competencies with the skills of patients to effectively manage chronic respiratory disorders. Terms such as self-care, collaborative treatment, self-regulation, and self-management have been used to describe strategies whereby patients have become empowered to be active partners with their health care personnel in the control of a respiratory disorder. In addition, knowledge of the pathology of asthma and COPD has led to the recognition that, in many cases, environmental and behavioral factors rival in importance the medical treatments used to control these chronic respiratory disorders. The prevention of pulmonary exacerbations, based upon behavioral actions of patients, is increasingly viewed as a major way of lessening the morbidity and mortality burden related to COPD and asthma (Creer & Levstek, 1998).