Action plan

The action plan is an excellent tool in any self-management and education program. It seeks to help the patient better manage and control their disease, by actively taking part in defining the goals to be achieved.

An action plan must be simple, personalized and put into writing. It should include several things, including:

  • What to do when one's pulmonary condition is stable
  • What to do when one's pulmonary condition deteriorates
  • What to do immediately should a severe aggravation of the symptoms occur
  • Names and telephone numbers of resource-people (e.g.: physician, CLSC caregiver)
  • Recognition of the symptoms
  • Factors that aggravate pulmonary disease
  • Vaccination

The exact contents of the action plan will depend upon:

  • The severity and complications (exacerbations) of the COPD
  • The existence of comorbidities
  • The patient's capacity to manage their disease (e.g.: intellectually, organizationally,, etc.)

Here is an example of an action plan developed for patients with COPD:
Action plan: Living well with COPD