Living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can be a burden for most patients, with 45% saying the disease affects their everyday life for 24 days out of the month, according to a recent Phreesia report.

However, the study also found that patients aren’t feeling satisfied with discussions and interactions with their doctors in regard to their condition.

Two-thirds of patients said the disease impacts their everyday life significantly, with 31% reporting that it impacted them so much they often had to take time off from work or take breaks often throughout the day.

Nearly half of respondents reported feeling as though their emotional well-being was impaired by the disease.

Still, a decent chunk of COPD patients — about 34% — feel as if they don’t fully understand the disease and not all patients tend to talk to their doctors about their experiences.

The Phreesia report aimed to better understand how health care providers (HCPs) can improve communication with patients and help their patients adhere to management medications more. One-quarter of patients said they weren’t currently on maintenance medication because their doctor hadn’t recommended it while 33% said it was because they believed their COPD wasn’t severe enough.

Additionally, the report found that many COPD patients who had tried common drugs for the condition — like GSK’s Trelegy Ellipta, Boehringer Ingelheim’s Spiriva Respimat or AstraZeneca’s Symbicort Turbuhaler — ended up dropping the medication eventually. Out of the 36% of people who had tried Spiriva Respimat, only about 18% were continuing to take it.

It’s possible that missed doses, which lead to worsened treatment outcomes, could be contributing to the decline, with one-third of patients noting they missed doses during a three-month period. But high drug prices also play a role in discouraging people from staying on medication.

The report’s authors highlighted the lack of adhering to COPD medication schedules as an area that could use improvement. Better patient-to-doctor dialogue, they argued, could also help facilitate a greater understanding of maintenance medication.

When asked what type of resources or communication would be helpful to patients, 41% said financial support on medication costs would be the most helpful. Under one-quarter pointed to resources that would help them better understand how their medication works while 20% highlighted tips on how to handle side effects.

The authors outlined several recommendations for HCPs which mirrored some of the key patient complaints included in the report. To better facilitate communication with patients about medication, HCPs are encouraged to reach out to patients at the point of care to help spur them to describe their symptoms and give guidance on how to improve medication adherence. Providing financial assistance options can also help lessen the stress when it comes to drug costs.This report is just the latest one to highlight challenges facing patients living with COPD. A report released by GoodRx Research over the summer found that access to pulmonology care is lacking in 488 counties across the United States. For all intents and purposes, this makes those regions “pulmonary deserts.”