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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

    Independent Respiratory Nurse Consultant

    Read biography