Psychological Counseling Helps Patients with COPD

In the United States, more than16 million Americans currently suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this number is estimated to be 65 million people worldwide, with more than 3.5 million people dying from COPD in 2015. Moreover, experts predict that the numbers for this incurable disease will continue to rise in the coming decades.

COPD generally takes one of two forms: chronic bronchitis or emphysema. Both diseases are characterized by shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, and coughing. Understandably, one of the major consequences of this disease — which causes an individual to feel like they are suffocating — is anxiety.

Anxiety itself can be a difficult and dangerous illness to manage. When it is combined with COPD, it can also worsen the symptoms of COPD. Anxiety can have such a profound effect on patients suffering from COPD that the fear, and the increased inability to breathe that this anxiety provokes, often result in increased emergency room visits.

Recently a team of researchers at the NHS Foundation Trust along with colleagues at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, tested the effectiveness of treating anxiety in patients with COPD using cognitive behavioral therapy. Their goal was to see if this approach would improve the quality of life for COPD sufferers, and to determine if a reduction in anxiety would lead to a reduction in the number of hospital visits.

The results of their study, published in the journal ERJ Open Research, demonstrated that patients treated with behavioral cognitive therapy experienced far fewer symptoms of anxiety, and reported an improved quality of life.

According to lead researcher Karen Heslop-Marshall, "Reducing the levels of anxiety patients experience has a significant impact on their quality of life as well as their ability to keep physically active and may improve survival in the long-term. Our research shows that frontline respiratory staff can deliver this intervention efficiently and effectively."

The researchers also pointed out that although the psychological intervention initially added costs to the care of patients with COPD, this cost was more than compensated by their need for fewer hospital visits.

The fact is that when dealing with any serious disease, both doctors and patients should be aware of the psychological effects the disease has on the patient. Giving patients the psychological support and techniques they need to deal with their illness can lead to a higher quality of life, a better survival rate, fewer hospital visits, and a reduction of the fear that accompanies a serious disease.

At the NJ Heart and Lung Center™ of Regency Jewish Heritage, we create an individualized plan for each patient. This is proven to prevent readmission to the hospital, and to improve independence.  

Regency Jewish has partnered with the area's leading cardiologists and pulmonologists to create a program that:   

  • Reduces hospital readmissions and patient length of stay
  • Maximizes ability for patient to regain ADL skills and independence
  • Offers 24/7/365 physician coverage through on-site staff and advanced telemedicine program
  • Has an on-site sleep study program to unlock Medicare benefit for Bipap utilization upon discharge
  • Offers STAT availability of Labs, X-Ray and other diagnostic tools

Our Outcomes & Capabilities include: 

  • Cardiologist and pulmonologist on site daily for immediate intervention
  • Specialized rehab & nursing protocols developed in partnership with leading cardiologists & pulmonologists
  • A plan proven to prevent readmission to the hospital and improve patient independence and functionality
  • Regular Communication Between Patient, Family, Staff & Physicians
  • Collaborative care planning with other physician & therapy specialists
  • Advanced staff education & training
  • Transitional care nurse & enhanced discharge-to-home process
  • Follow-up home visit within 24-48 hours
  • Educational material provided to patients & families

Regency prides itself on offering the very best of care in a patient-centered environment. This means always listening to our residents and patients and respecting their capabilities, while helping them to achieve maximum functionality and independence. And always maintaining the highest professional and quality standards in our staff and our facilities. Our 25 years of excellent care have led to us being awarded a Best Nursing Homes award by US News & World Today, a 5-Star rating by USA Today, and an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, among many other awards.   

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The NJ Heart and Lung Center at Regency Jewish Heritage
380 DeMott Lane, Somerset, NJ 08873
(732) 873-2000
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The NJ Heart and Lung Center at Regency Gardens
296 Hamburg Turnpike, Wayne, NJ 07470
(973) 790-5800
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