Intervention for fibrotic ILDs

Nurses have an important role to help patients understand their ILD treatment and manage their treatment expectations1–5

Intervention for fibrotic ILDs

HELP YOUR PATIENTS WITH FIBROTIC ILD UNDERSTAND THEIR TREATMENTS TO SUPPORT MEDICATION ADHERENCE2,5,6

Helping your patients understand their treatment options and managing their expectations of what the treatment can do may help increase their adherence with treatment.1,2,5

It is important that patients understand fibrotic ILD causes irreversible lung damage7 and that current treatments for IPF, for example, can help preserve lung function but cannot reverse the damage.8,9

EARLY TREATMENT IS ESSENTIAL IN IPF AND COULD POSITIVELY IMPACT PROGRESSION AND IMPROVE OUTCOMES FOR PATIENTS12–14

Antifibrotic treatment started immediately after diagnosis of IPF14 could help slow progression when there is the most left to preserve12,15,16

Antifibrotic treatment started immediately after diagnosis of IPF14 could help slow progression when there is the most left to preserve12,15,16

Consistent real-world evidence shows antifibrotic treatment significantly improves survival in patients with IPF17–20

Consistent real-world evidence shows antifibrotic treatment significantly improves survival in patients with IPF17–20

MANAGEMENT OF NON-IPF ILDs

Management approach may vary depending on the specific ILDs.21 There are recommendations for both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic approaches.21 For example, for patients with hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP), removal of the allergen responsible should be the first step in HP management.22

An expert consensus recommends that treatment for non-IPF progressive fibrosing ILDs should not wait.23

ADVICE AND SUPPORT FROM SPECIALIST NURSES ON SIDE EFFECTS CAN HELP IMPROVE PATIENT ADHERENCE TO TREATMENT2,5,6

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Nurses have a key role in educating and supporting patients with ILD, including troubleshooting treatment side effects2

Patients might stop taking treatments when they experience side effects.24 It is therefore important for patients to be informed of potential side effects before starting treatment.6,25

Patients should know to promptly report side effects to their healthcare team, as managing side effects quickly and effectively may improve patient compliance and outcomes of treatment.6

There is a range of approaches to help manage side effects

Patients should be made aware that there are strategies to help manage treatment side effects.25–27

For example, educating patients with IPF on how dose adjustment can manage possible side effects of antifibrotic treatment can also help reassure them about starting treatment and help prolong their treatment benefits.28

In patients with IPF, the majority of antifibrotic side effects are gastrointestinal in nature, which is why patients should take their medication with food.5

Lifestyle changes, such as dietary interventions* and attending support groups may help patients manage side effects. Staying active may improve their quality of life.25–27

Dietary interventions* may include adequate hydration at the first sign of diarrhea, avoidance or selection of certain food/drinks and the size and frequency of meals25

Dietary interventions* may include adequate hydration at the first sign of diarrhea, avoidance or selection of certain food/drinks and the size and frequency of meals25
Supportive medications can be used to manage diarrhea, nausea and vomiting associated with treatment5,25

Supportive medications can be used to manage diarrhea, nausea and vomiting associated with treatment5,25
If symptomatic treatment of side effects is ineffective, temporary ILD treatment interruption or dose reduction may be prescribed25

If symptomatic treatment of side effects is ineffective, temporary ILD treatment interruption or dose reduction may be prescribed25
Nurse-led telephone clinics and email communication can help patients have access to regular advice on what to expect, any required symptomatic treatment, and reduction/temporary interruption of treatment5,6,29–32

Nurse-led telephone clinics and email communication can help patients have access to regular advice on what to expect, any required symptomatic treatment, and reduction/temporary interruption of treatment5,6,29–32
Patients may also find support groups beneficial for emotional support, and practical guidance on symptom management27

Patients may also find support groups beneficial for emotional support, and practical guidance on symptom management27
Exercise training can lead to clinically meaningful improvements in ILD patients’ quality of life and exercise capacity26

Exercise training can lead to clinically meaningful improvements in ILD patients’ quality of life and exercise capacity26

*Dietary intervention recommendations, which come from consensus statements from an expert panel of pulmonologists. Consensus statements were developed for use in patients with IPF.25

What other resources can help you support your patients in their journey with fibrotic ILD?

Footnotes

  • HP, hypersensitivity pneumonitis; ILD, interstitial lung disease; IPF, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

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