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.
- 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.