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EMBARC is developing an online course designed to equip young physicians, specialist nurses and physiotherapists with the skills and knowledge to deliver world class bronchiectasis care.
Developed by leading international experts in the field, the course includes presentations from key opinion leaders, practical demonstrations and written coursework. The project will support and enhance the European Respiratory Society Bronchiectasis Guidelines due to be published in 2016.
Each module is supported by a large number of multiple choice questions designed to help you test, develop and apply your knowledge of bronchiectasis. we expert this online course to be available in 2016.
Why do we need an education programme for bronchiectasis?
Bronchiectasis is described in the ERS white book as “one of the most neglected diseases in respiratory medicine”. Despite this, bronchiectasis is a common disease encountered by all respiratory physicians, adult and paediatric, and where multidisciplinary management is paramount including nurses, physiotherapists, and a growing team including microbiologists, surgeons, transplant physicians and many others. Much of the burden of bronchiectasis falls upon primary care physicians with limited experience or knowledge of the disease. Most patients with bronchiectasis in Europe are not managed in specialised bronchiectasis centres and so do not have access to the resources that are available in some super-specialised centres in Western Europe. There is therefore a great need to provide primary care physicians, general respiratory physicians and physicians in training with high quality education regarding bronchiectasis.
We have performed an extensive needs assessment and identified a strong desire for an educational initiative in bronchiectasis targeted at primary and secondary care physicians and associated health professionals managing patients with bronchiectasis.
- The EMBARC clinical research collaboration has conducted a survey of more than 100 physicians treating bronchiectasis patients in Europe and identified bronchiectasis education for non-specialists as a key need to improve management of the disease
- Analysis of data from the European Bronchiectasis Registry which is now enrolling indicates a need for education in some parts of Europe on appropriate investigation and the role of treatments such as inhaled corticosteroids and antibiotic treatments
- The ERS Bronchiectasis Task force has identified a need for bronchiectasis education in primary care
Most importantly, in a survey of 1000 patients with bronchiectasis conducted by the European Lung Foundation in early 2015, the following key findings were identified
- When asked for the most important priorities for improving bronchiectasis clinical care, patients identified “improve awareness of bronchiectasis in community care services” as their number one priority, with 96% of respondents rating this “important” or “very important”.
- 91% of patients wanted to develop betters ways of teaching patients to use their medicines correctly
- 90% of patients wanted better education for primary care physicians on how to manage bronchiectasis exacerbations
- 96% of patients rated having access to easy to understand information about different aspects of living with bronchiectasis as “important” or “very important”
On this basis, there is a strong mandate from physicians, allied health professionals and patients for an educational programme focussed on bronchiectasis.