Introduction Healthcare professionals (HCPs) involved in the delivery of COPD services and self-management interventions require appropriate knowledge to inform patients about their condition. Although patient knowledge is often assessed to encourage patient education and self-management, little is done to assess the knowledge of HCPs providing disease information to patients and to establish whether HCPs have a broad spectrum of knowledge to effectively support disease management.
Objective To assess the knowledge of HCPs involved in the delivery of COPD services.
Method The Bristol COPD Knowledge Questionnaire (BCKQ) was distributed to 108 HCPs working in primary and secondary care COPD services (Coventry, Leicester, Lothian, Nottingham and Northampton) to assess knowledge. The BCKQ is primarily an outcome measure for patient knowledge (White et al. 2006). It is a multiple choice questionnaire containing 13 topics, each with five statements giving a total of 65 questions for which there is a right or wrong answer. Positive scoring was used with a mark being given for a correct answer. Incorrect responses indicate a knowledge deficit.
Results The overall findings revealed that HCPs had a mean score of 50 (77%) (minimum 24, maximum 62). The results from the BCKQ revealed particular gaps in knowledge in the breathlessness topic with a mean score of 3.3 (66%) (minimum 1, maximum 5) and across the medication topics, particularly inhaled steroids with only a mean score of 2.7 (54%) (minimum 0, maximum 5) of participants providing correct answers.
Conclusion The HCPs involved in the delivery of these COPD services had particular gaps in knowledge around breathlessness and medications. HCP gaps in knowledge could inadvertently impact patient knowledge and understanding of their condition and subsequently the ability of patients to effectively self-manage their COPD. Identifying gaps in knowledge can encourage HCP education and training to enhance HCP knowledge and subsequent patient care.
White, R. Walker, P. Roberts, S. Kalisky, S and White, P (2006) ‘Bristol COPD Knowledge Questionnaire (BCKQ): testing what we teach patients about COPD’. Chronic Respiratory Disease 3: 123–131.