Managing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

“I went for a meeting and it was the best thing I ever did.”—Bud (emphysema)

If you are one of the millions of people living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), there are ways to manage your condition so you can live life to the fullest. COPD self-management education (SME) programs can help you manage COPD and take control of symptoms such as tiredness, pain, and depression. Find out how an SME program can help you feel better.

Self-Management Education Programs for Chronic Conditions

The following SME programs are for people with any chronic health condition, including COPD.

Chronic Disease Self-Management Program

Cost: Varies by organization, rarely more than $50.
Format: In-person workshop.

The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program is a 6-week interactive workshop for people with all types of chronic conditions. This course, developed by Stanford University, can help people with one or more chronic conditions learn the strategies to manage your condition and have the confidence to carry them out.  This interactive workshop meets for 2.5 hours per week for 6 weeks in convenient community locations.  It is led by trained leaders, at least one of whom has a chronic condition. This workshop is known by a variety of different names, including Living Well. It also is available in Spanish.

Subjects covered include:

  • Techniques to deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, pain and isolation.
  • Appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility, and endurance.
  • Appropriate use of medications.
  • Communicating effectively with family, friends, and health professionals.
  • Managing depression.
  • Better breathing techniques.
  • Relaxation techniques.
  • Healthy eating habits.
  • Making good decisions about your health.
  • How to evaluate new treatments.

Visit the Self-Management Resource Center website to learn more about the Chronic Disease Self-Management ProgramExternal. Locate organizations licensed to offer the program in your area on the Evidence-Based Leadership Council websiteExternal.

Chronic Disease Self-Management Program: Tool Kit for Active Living

Cost: $43.96.
Format: Self-study toolkit.

The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program Tool Kit for Active Living provides much of the same information as the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) in a self-study format that you can receive by mail. The tool kit helps you construct your own self management plan to deal with your chronic condition(s) through exercise, and strategies to reduce stress, fatigue, pain and other symptoms. It encourages goal setting, action planning, and thinking and acting proactively. You can work through the toolkit at your own pace, focusing on areas most important to you. Also available in Spanish.

The self-study kit includes:

  • The workbook Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions.
  • Information Sheets briefly describing common problems and helpful solutions.
  • A self-test that helps you identify elements and set priorities for a personal self-management plan.
  • Action Plan description with instruction and examples for developing unique plan.
  • Exercise Action Plan with hints and instruction on use of the other exercise and activity materials, Relaxation CD and Exercise CD.

Visit the Self-Management Resource Center website to learn more about the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program: Tool Kit for Active LivingExternal.

Tomando Control de su Salud

Cost: Varies by organization, rarely more than $50.
Format: In-person workshop.

This course, developed by Stanford University, is a 6-week interactive workshop for Spanish speaking adults with all types of chronic conditions. If you have one or more chronic condition, this program can help you learn the strategies and skills to manage your health and your condition(s) more effectively and live your everyday life. All the workshop sessions are held in Spanish. It is very similar to the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP), but was developed to be culturally appropriate for Spanish speaking adults. Workshop sessions are held for 2.5 hours per week for 6 weeks at convenient community locations.

Topics include:

  • Techniques to deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, pain and isolation.
  • Appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility, and endurance.
  • Managing depression.
  • Appropriate use of medications.
  • Communicating effectively with family, friends, and health professionals.
  • Healthy eating habits.
  • Better breathing techniques.
  • Relaxation techniques.
  • Appropriate use of the health care system.
  • Making good decisions about your health.
  • How to evaluate new treatments.

Visit the Self-Management Resource Center website to learn more about Tomando Control de su SaludExternal. Locate organizations licensed to offer the program in your area on the Evidence-Based Leadership Council websiteExternal.

Learn More about COPD