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Perspectives

Stigma and lung disease: what we can do

Christine Jenkins

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© ONCEAWITKIN/ISTOCKPHOTO.COM MODEL USED FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY

Abstract

Stigma towards people with lung disease makes a major contribution to delay in diagnosis and affects the psychological health and level of care received by patients. Making assumptions about a diagnosis based on smoking as the only risk factor affects the health and wellbeing of patients.

Key Points

  • Stigma affects the psychological health of people with lung disease.
  • Early diagnosis is key: GPs need to be alert to symptoms of lung disease to ensure timely referrals are made.
  • Making assumptions based only on the presence or absence of smoking is a risk for delaying diagnosis or making an incorrect diagnosis.

Figures

© ONCEAWITKIN/ISTOCKPHOTO.COM MODEL USED FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY
© ONCEAWITKIN/ISTOCKPHOTO.COM MODEL USED FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY