Chiesi UK, in collaboration with Asthma + Lung UK, is introducing the You, Me & COPD Roadshow to be held at Morrisons, Honeypot Lane, Queensbury, on the 3rd and 4th of November.
A recent survey conducted among individuals living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in London has unveiled the prevailing stigma and misconceptions surrounding the condition.
Nearly half of COPD patients (49%) hesitated to seek more information due to fear of judgment, while 34% felt judged or misunderstood because of their smoking history.
The online survey, administered by Opinion Health on behalf of Chiesi UK, also highlighted that 46% of COPD patients refrained from disclosing their condition, and a third (33%) experienced feelings of isolation from their social circles post-diagnosis.
Despite this, only 26% of those surveyed received advice at diagnosis on discussing their condition with friends and family.
Londoners with COPD were found to be the least informed about identifying new symptoms or worsening conditions, with only 37% receiving advice on the matter. Additionally, just 41% received guidance on managing flare-ups.
The You, Me & COPD Roadshow, which has previously visited Manchester, Hull, and Leicester, seeks to create a safe haven for COPD patients and their loved ones.
The Morrisons hub has been designed collaboratively by COPD patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals. Its purpose is to offer a unique space for individuals with COPD, their friends, and family members to access information, receive support, and connect with others facing similar challenges.
“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, 56% of people with COPD in London have experienced being unable to take part in social activities since being diagnosed.
“We recommend anyone who can, living in the London 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 Morrisons, Honeypot Lane, Queensbury, London on the 3rd and 4th November.
For more information about the roadshow, please visit www.youmeandcopd.co.uk.