You, Me & COPD Roadshow arrives in Leicester as survey reveals COPD stigma and misunderstanding.
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A new survey circulated amongst people living in the East Midlands with a respiratory condition called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has revealed that 70% have felt hesitant to ask for more information about their condition because they were worried about being judged or discriminated against – the highest in all of the areas included in the survey.
To help the COPD community to easily access information about the condition in a ‘safe place’, Chiesi UK, in association with Asthma + Lung UK, is bringing the You, Me & COPD Roadshow to Beaumont Shopping Centre, Beaumont Leys, Leicester LE4 1DS on the 20th and 21st October.
The survey, conducted online by Opinion Health on behalf of Chiesi UK, gained insights from COPD patients in the East Midlands also revealed that:
- 60% of people living with COPD have been judged or misunderstood because they smoke or used to smoke and 55% have even avoided telling people they have the condition
- 58% of people living with COPD have experienced feeling isolated from family or friends since being diagnosed – the highest out of the four regions surveyed
- Only 43% of patients received information on the emotional impact of COPD upon diagnosis
- Barely half (53%) of patients with COPD got information on the disease process and overall prognosis when they were first diagnosed, and only 40% received advice on speaking to their friends and family about the condition following diagnosis.
The You, Me & COPD roadshow has travelled across England having already visited Manchester and Hull. Leicester will be the roadshow’s third stop in 2023, followed by a stop in London. The You, Me & COPD hub at Beaumont Shopping Centre, Beaumont Leys, Leicester, has been co-created by people living with COPD, carers and healthcare professionals. It aims to provide a unique space for people living with COPD and their friends and family members to access information, support and meet those in similar situations.
“While we are saddened to see that stigma and discrimination around COPD prevail, we are pleased to be taking steps to combat this through the launch of the You, Me & COPD roadshow,” said Tom Delahoyde, Managing Director, Chiesi UK. “We have created the roadshow in association with Asthma + Lung UK to help ensure COPD patients and their loved ones have all the support they need to live well with their condition. Interaction with like-minded individuals is crucial when living with a chronic health condition, and we hope this activity will help to challenge misconceptions about COPD and help patients feel seen, heard and supported.”
Over one million people in the UK have been diagnosed with COPD, a long-term, incurable condition that means air cannot get out of the lungs easily. Symptoms include shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing, and can vary in severity. In addition, 63% of people with COPD in the East Midlands have experienced being unable to take part in social activities since they were diagnosed.
“We recommend anyone who can, living in the Leicester area and affected by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), should visit the You, Me and COPD Roadshow. The COPD hub, which will be based in London, will have a healthcare professional from the charity and you can pop by to have a conversation with them about COPD, getting tips and advice on how best to manage your condition,” Dr Andy Whittamore, clinical lead at Asthma UK + Lung UK, said. “I was dismayed to see the results of the Chiesi survey finding that so many people living with COPD feel hesitant to ask for more information about their condition, being worried they’ll be judged or discriminated against. This simply must change and as healthcare professionals we can be part of the solution, reaching out to people in community settings and facilitating conversations about this disease. Helping and supporting people to feel able to talk about COPD and gain more information, as well as being able to speak to their loved ones about their disease, is vital. The charity is proud to be a part of this important initiative.”
Anyone affected by COPD can visit the You, Me & COPD roadshow at Beaumont Shopping Centre, Beaumont Leys, Leicester on the 20th and 21st October. For more information about the roadshow, please visit www.youmeandcopd.co.uk.