Some useful features of the updated COPD Pocket Consultant Guide

The COPD Foundation offers this tool for patients, caregivers, and doctors

Caroline Gainer avatar

by Caroline Gainer |

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Tools that make life easier for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are prized possessions. One of them is the recently updated version of the COPD Pocket Consultant Guide from the COPD Foundation.

I was fortunate to be asked to help beta test the updated guide, which helps those who wish to collect and analyze their daily statistics. I must confess that I’m not one of those people, but I still find the guide useful. The app is free to download at the Google Play Store for Android phone users and at the Apple App Store for iPhone users.

An excellent feature of this newer version of the guide is its two perspectives: one for the patient or caregiver and another for doctors. For those of you who have a tough time communicating with your healthcare provider, this tool might provide an opportunity to be a better partner in your care.

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Interactive sections

The section of the guide that I use most is the daily log, which contains My COPD Action Plan. It’s an automated version of the action plan I’ve used on paper for many years. When you open that portion of the app, you’re asked if you’d like to make a daily assessment of your COPD symptoms.

Once you select the statement that represents your symptoms that day, you’re given a score of green, yellow, or red. You’re then asked if you want to save this result to the calendar, which allows you to track your symptoms and share them with your pulmonologist.

Green days mean your COPD symptoms are under control and you’re taking your medications as usual. Yellow days mean your symptoms are atypical and you might need to take medications that you have on hand. Red days represent a full-on exacerbation that requires medical attention.

The app’s goal-setting section has the same questions you’ll find at the top of the My COPD Action Plan. You can keep a daily record of the tasks you can or cannot do, which can also be saved to the calendar. As the instructions indicate, this activity can help you revise your goals every three to four months.

Once you’ve provided those answers, you will be given another list of questions that you may discuss with your doctor.

The wallet card section of the COPD Pocket Consultant Guide lists vaccinations recommended for COPD patients. It also lets you record the dates you got those vaccinations.

Videos and other resources

Videos on inhaler use and exercise provide valuable information and are an excellent method for learning. Improper inhaler use is often the reason a person thinks their medication isn’t working. I periodically consult the video to use my own inhaler because I’ve found it’s easy to develop bad technique over time.

A respiratory therapist leads the exercise videos, which should be appropriate for most COPD patients. As always, consult your physician before starting or designing any exercise regimen.

The digest section provides current research information, tips for healthy living, and educational resources.

I’m sure that I’ve got some bias here since I helped test the product, but I believe the guide is a great tool for helping people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease live their best lives. And remember: It’s free, so you have nothing to lose by trying it.


Note: COPD News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of COPD News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Comments

Donna Lennox avatar

Donna Lennox

Could you please email the guide to my email, don't have usuable cell phone........thanks

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Caroline Gainer avatar

Caroline Gainer

This is an app for a cell phone, not a flyer that I can email to you.

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Vicki Wanner avatar

Vicki Wanner

If the document is useful to those of us with Stage 4 COPD, I would definitely like a free copy of the Guide.

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Caroline M. Gainer avatar

Caroline M. Gainer

If you have an iPhone or Android, just follow the link to Apple or Google. The links are in the column.

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Vicki Wanner avatar

Vicki Wanner

I never received my copy of the Guide I requested quite some time ago.

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