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chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, patient education, respiratory disease



  1. Corbridge, Susan PhD, APN, ACNP, AE-C
  2. Wilken, Lori PharmD, TT-S, AE-C, BCACP
  3. Kapella, Mary C. PhD, RN
  4. Gronkiewicz, Cindy MS, RN, ACNS-BC, AE-C


OVERVIEW: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of death in the United States, affecting as many as 24 million Americans and resulting in 1.5 million ED visits, 700,000 hospital admissions, and 124,000 deaths annually. This article, the first in a two-part series on COPD, outlines current guidelines and other evidence-based recommendations on diagnosing and managing stable COPD in the outpatient setting. Part 2 will appear in a future issue of AJN and will focus on managing acute exacerbations of COPD.