Unique, practical knowledge for nurses responsible for daily management of patients with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and related conditions.

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Monday, 01 June 2009
Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is a general term for a number of diseases characterised by progressive pulmonary fibrosis or ‘scarring’ of the lungs. The term fibrosis implies formation of abnormal connective tissue within the lung parenchyma. These diseases are less commonly seen in primary care than airways diseases such as asthma and COPD. However, like COPD, they produce progressive debilitating breathlessness for the patient. It is important that practice nurses, particularly those with an interest in respiratory diseases, are aware of this group of diseases and their management as early referral to specialist care is important.
Category: Editorial
Monday, 01 June 2009
Anticholinergic drugs are bronchodilators that act by blocking acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter for the parasympathetic nervous system. By blocking parasympathetic stimulation, anticholinergics reduce cholinergic tone, therefore producing bronchodilation. In this article we review when and how these drugs should be used. What are their potential benefits and what should we tell patients who need them?
Category: Editorial
Monday, 01 June 2009
Anxiety is a significant problem for many patients with respiratory disease and can have a very negative impact on the disease course and prognosis. Practice nurses have an important role to play in identifying anxiety and referring patients for appropriate treatment. This article will focus on anxiety in such patients and aims to help you understand what anxiety is, how anxiety affects patients, how to recognise symptoms of anxiety and how to use the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. A second article, to be published in the next issue, will focus on management of anxiety.
Category: Editorial
Monday, 01 June 2009
Although the use of asbestos in this country has been tightly controlled for over 30 years the incidence of asbestos-related lung diseases has increased dramatically over the last few years. It is expected that this increase will continue during the next decade. This article describes some of the different lung diseases caused by asbestos and their management, and provides a useful clinical background to the issues for healthcare workers in primary care.
Category: Editorial
Monday, 01 June 2009
Asthma is a common condition in children, with approximately one in eight youngsters in the UK receiving treatment for asthma at any given time. The British guidelines on the management of asthma have separate pathways for children of different ages, for those under 5 and for children aged 5-12 years. In this article, we review some of the challenges of treating children with asthma, in particular, the best use of bronchodilators.
Category: Editorial
Monday, 01 June 2009
The image of community pharmacy and the role of the community pharmacist have changed substantially over the past 5-10 years. Things are set to keep changing with the newly published White Paper for pharmacy in England and the continued restructuring of the health service in Scotland. The community pharmacist’s role will become much more integrated into the multi-professional care of patients.
Category: Editorial
Monday, 01 June 2009
Cough is a common presenting symptom in primary care. It has a prevalence of 30% in the general European population, and in a US National Medical Case Survey in 1991 cough was the commonest presenting complaint. Between 10% and 38% of all new patient referrals to UK hospital chest clinics are for chronic cough. This article covers the physiological nature of cough and its role as an essential protective reflex, focuses on the differential diagnosis of cough in general practice in both adults and children, and discusses the use of treatment as a diagnostic tool.
Category: Editorial
Monday, 01 June 2009
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most common inherited genetic disease in the UK. Improvements in both diagnosis and treatment over the last 30 years have resulted in increased survival with children born in the 1990s now likely to live into their forties. Although much of the treatment is delivered in hospitals, healthcare professionals in primary care should be aware of management principles and understand the impact of the condition on patients and their families. This article provides an overview of CF and shows how to support patients and families in primary care.
Category: Editorial

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