Obstructive Airways DiseaseA Pharmacotherapeutic Approach to Improving Health-Related Quality of Life for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Narrative ReviewAdams, Sandra G. MD, MS; Anzueto, Antonio MDAuthor Information From the Pulmonary Diseases and Critical Care Medicine Division of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and the South Texas Veterans Health Care System, San Antonio, Texas. Supported by Schering-Plough. Address correspondence to: Sandra G. Adams, MD, MS, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and South Texas Veterans Health Care System, 7400 Merton Minter Boulevard (111-E), San Antonio, TX 78229. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Clinical Pulmonary Medicine: May 2009 - Volume 16 - Issue 3 - p 115-126 doi: 10.1097/CPM.0b013e3181a27d24 Buy Metrics AbstractIn Brief Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) represents a growing social and economic burden in the United States and is currently the fourth leading cause of death. In addition to declining physiologic function, patients with symptomatic COPD often experience substantially worsened psychologic side effects, such as loss of sleep, anxiety, and depression—all of which may cause serious detriment to their health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Improving patients’ HRQoL is essential to achieving optimal treatment outcomes and is now recognized as a clinically important assessment of medical treatment. Currently, COPD guidelines recommend regular pharmacologic treatment to achieve improvements in overall health status and lung function parameters. Studies have shown that pharmacologic treatments, particularly inhaled anticholinergics, β2-adrenergic receptor agonists, and bronchodilator combination therapies not only improve and maintain lung function but also substantially improve HRQoL. In addition, data demonstrate that achieving and maintaining an appreciable improvement in HRQoL is often more important to patients than are improvements in pulmonary function. Therefore, patient-reported outcomes, psychologic symptoms, patient satisfaction with treatment, and other essential components of HRQoL should be considered when prescribing pharmacologic therapy for patients with COPD. When considering therapeutic options for COPD, physicians should consult with their patients to determine which factors are of particular importance to them, as this will optimize treatment adherence and disease management. Patient-reported outcomes, such as health-related quality of life, must be taken into account along with clinical outcomes when evaluating a patient's response to therapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Results of clinical studies that evaluated effects on health-related quality of life with various regimens of inhaled medication used in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease therapy are summarized here. © 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.