Provider adherence to the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) guidelines remains low, with just more than half (56%) of all patients with stable COPD receiving treatment in accordance with GOLD guidelines, according to the results of a new study.

When the patient’s care was co-managed by a primary care physician or pulmonologist, the likelihood of receiving guideline-concordant inhaler therapy increased, the study found.

“These results indicated that [primary care physicians] and specialists need to establish better communication to ensure regular follow up for COPD patients and increase the likelihood of adherence to guidelines,” the authors wrote.

The study looked at 450 patients at outpatient clinics during 2010. Of the 450, 196 (43.6%) patients were not receiving treatment in accordance with the 2007 GOLD guidelines. 

Greater adherence to pharmacotherapy guidelines could help improve survival rates in COPD, according to the authors. However, they believe further research must be done to identify the reasons why physicians are non-concordant.