Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive illness that is mostly managed in the general practice setting. The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) guidelines are the international gold standard, and it is important to understand how these are being applied in general practice. This review aimed to assess the current level of adherence to international best practice guidelines among general practitioners in relation to COPD. PubMed and EMBASE searches (from 2012 to 2016) were performed and used the search terms guidelines, COPD, general practitioners, and primary care. Papers were excluded if they were not primary sources, were published before 2012, or did not pertain to a general practice setting. After applying set inclusion and exclusion criteria, 11 studies were retrieved. These papers were grouped under three categories: diagnosis, pharmacological, and non-pharmacological management, based on the GOLD guidelines. Current studies show significant variability in adherence to the GOLD guidelines. Barriers identified include lack of clarity, unfamiliarity with recommendations, and lack of familiarity with the guidelines. If general practice is expected to manage COPD and other chronic diseases, health service investment is needed to provide appropriate focused guidelines, to support their dissemination and resources to implement them in practice.
University of Limerick ->