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  • Respiratory

Patient Centricity and Treatable Traits

Involving patients and carers in decisions about their care and treatment is an integral part of providing truly patient-centred care.1 Person-centred care supports people to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to more effectively manage and make informed decisions about their own health and care. It is coordinated and tailored to the needs of the individual.2

Traditionally, clinical guidelines have advocated a stepwise approach to pharmacotherapy of asthma and COPD, but there is an increasing realization that both require more personalized and precise management. To this end, a management strategy based on the so-called “Treatable Traits” has been proposed.

A treatable trait is a characteristic amenable to therapy, with measurable benefits of treatment. This approach determines what pathology is actually present and treatable, rather than using umbrella labels.4

Ms Vikki Knowles showcases the importance of a patient centric care approach, identifying treatable traits and creating a problem list to tailor a personalised treatment plan to each individual.


1. The King’s Fund. From vision to action. Making patient-centred care a reality. Available at: https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/sites/default/files/field/field_publication_file/Richmond-group-from-vision-to-action-april-2012-1.pdf
2. NHS England. Involving people in their own care. Available at:
3. Agusti A et al. Moving towards a Treatable Traits model of care for the management of obstructive airways diseases. Respir Med. 2021 Oct;187:106572. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2021.106572.
4. Bush A, Pavord I. Challenging the paradigm: moving from umbrella labels to treatable traits in airway disease Breathe Sep 2021, 17 (3) 210053; DOI: 10.1183/20734735.0053-2021.

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Vikki Knowles

Ms Knowles  is currently working as an independent respiratory nurse consultant supporting primary care across Waverly and providing respiratory education with Respiricare Ltd. Prior to this, she was employed by Guildford and Waverley CCG, as a respiratory nurse consultant within the medicines management team leading in respiratory from 2014-2020. Vikki’s role was to guide the CCG on prescribing decisions and support development of local pathways of care, in line with national guidance for patients with respiratory conditions and provide respiratory education across the CCG. This entailed working closely with primary care colleagues and running additional educational sessions for HCPs with respiratory interest, working with Kent Surrey and Sussex AHSN to develop an affordable solution for meeting the standards of the National Register for quality assured spirometry. Prior to working with the CCG, Vikki was the Clinical Lead for the Community Respiratory Service across West Surrey and supported the development of the Integrated Respiratory service across the CCG.

Vikki is a member of the Policy and Education committee of PCRS-UK and previously sat on the Executive Board. She represented primary care interests in the development of the British Thoracic Society Home Oxygen Guidelines, published in 2016 and contributed to the Home Oxygen Quality Standards published in 2017.