Access to palliative care for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common and, despite existing treatment options, progressive lung disease. Patients with COPD often have only limited access to palliative care. The goal of this research project is to improve the quality of life of patients with COPD.

Project description (completed research project)

In many cases, the symptoms of advanced COPD (including shortness of breath, pain and depression) are insufficiently alleviated. In addition, often in connection with an infection, patients frequently suffer from respiratory decompensation; this may lead to invasive interventions as well as the admission to the emergency room or an intensive care unit. It may ultimately lead to the death of the patient.


This study aims to show that early palliative care can reduce the number of necessary invasive interventions and improve the quality of life of patients with COPD. For this purpose, a group of patients receiving early, standardized palliative care will be compared to a group of patients receiving customary treatment only, without systematic intervention by palliative care experts.


The results of this study should make it possible to efficiently use the medical resources which are required for the appropriate care of patients with COPD. The goal is the best possible quality of life and better coordination of the measures taken, especially with regard to the area of acute care and the wishes of the patient.

Original title

Introduction de soins palliatifs précoces chez des patients avec une maladie pulmonaire obstructive chronique.

Project leader

  • Professor Jean-Paul Janssens, Pneumologie, Universitätsspital Genf
  • Dr. François Herrmann, Geriatrie, Universitätsspital Genf
  • Dr. Catherine Weber, USPC, Hausarztmedizin, Universitätsspital Genf



Further information on this content


Prof. Jean-Paul Janssens Division of Pulmonary Diseases
Department of Specialized Medicine
Geneva University Hospitals
Rue Gabrielle-Perret-Gentil 4 1211 Genève +41 22 372 95 48

Products of the project