Module 1: Asthma
This module commences with the description and epidemiology of asthma. The history, pathogenesis and a range of risk factors are outlined. An overview of the diagnosis and evaluation of patients with asthma also includes mimics of asthma symptoms. The diagnosis and management of asthma for adolescents and adults is outlined including diagnostic tools. The module then moves to the diagnosis, diagnostic tools and management of asthma in infants and children. Red flags to look for are included. The module concludes with information on thunderstorm asthma, asthma emergencies, acute asthma in primary care, vaccination and available asthma resources.
Module 2: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
This module discusses COPD and the possible contributing heterogenous group of associated processes. Characteristics, aetiology, pathogenesis and the burden of this disease are outlined. Each stage of the COPD-X guidelines (Case finding and confirm diagnosis, Optimise function, Prevent deterioration, Develop a plan of care and manage eXacerbations) are explained in detail including investigations, impact assessment, the overlap of asthma and COPD and measuring severity. Barriers to COPD diagnosis are detailed. Management options to optimise lung function and prevent deterioration including lifestyle factors, immunisation and pharmacotherapy options are outlined. Comorbidities associated with patients with COPD are detailed and referral options outlined. The module also includes palliative care options. Adult asthma can be associated with COPD and this is discussed in detail. The management of adult asthma is revisited. The module concludes with a summary of take home messages.
Module 3: Sinusitis
This module begins with explaining the purpose of sinuses and how sinusitis can develop. Contributing risk factors and presenting symptoms are outlined. Examination rules are described for the nose, throat, ears and lungs including red flags for infection. Awareness of the stages of sinusitis, classifications and investigation options determine management options. Management options are detailed including nasal spays, reducing inflammation, treating the underlying cause and safety netting at each step that may also include onward referral. Prevention strategies and potential complications are outlined that consider other contributing factors for an alternative diagnosis. The module concludes with an clinical case example that reinforces the module content.
Module 4: Upper respiratory tract infection (URTI)
This module begins with an overview of URTIs including the anatomy of the upper respiratory tract. Common infections are outlined including pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, differential diagnosis and treatment options. These infections include rhinitis, sinusitis, ear and mastoid, pharyngitis, tonsilitis, deep neck, laryngitis, croup and epiglottitis. The various severity levels of each of these conditions is described to assist with determining management options.
Extended learning module: lung cancer
This module commences with the epidemiology and aetiology of lung cancers. The two main types of lung cancer are small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Three carcinoma groups are discussed including squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma and large cell (undifferentiated) carcinoma. Tumor biology is described including molecular structures, mutations and other genomic alterations. Understanding the stage of tumours has important therapeutic and prognostic implications and guidelines are included to determine the stage levels. The clinical features and signs of lung cancer are described. Management and treatment of NSCLC are outlined depending on the stage, and includes the evaluation and management of suspected immunotherapy-related pulmonary toxicity. The module concludes with treatment options for older patients, peritoneal cancer index (PCI), neurological sequelae and prognosis of SCLC.