Improving the process and outcome of care in COPD: development of a standardised assessment tool

Prim Care Respir J. 2009 Sep;18(3):208-15. doi: 10.4104/pcrj.2009.00053.


Introduction: A major goal of COPD treatment is to reduce symptom burden and ensure that the patient's health is as good as possible. This goal requires regular systematic assessment of the patient's COPD with clear and efficient communication between the patient and clinician.

Aim: To explore patient and physician descriptions of COPD attributes, in order to inform content development of a patient-reported clinical assessment tool.

Methods: Qualitative research methods (one-to-one interviews and patient focus groups) were used to elicit key characteristics to evaluate COPD health status and explore how patients with COPD experience their condition. ATLAS.ti version 5.0 was used to identify major themes and generate an item pool.

Results: Fifty-eight patients with COPD (GOLD stages 1-4; MRC grades 2-5) and 10 clinicians participated in this research. Twenty-one items were generated, capturing patient assessment of breathlessness, wheeze, cough, sleep, activity limitation, energy/fatigue, social function, and anxiety.

Conclusions: This qualitative study identified a broad range of items that are potentially suitable for inclusion in a short, simple COPD assessment tool for use in routine clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bronchitis, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / diagnosis*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy
  • Quality of Life*
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • United Kingdom
  • United States