Background: To assess the responsiveness of the Cough and Sputum Assessment Questionnaire (CASA-Q) in COPD and chronic bronchitis patients recovering from an acute exacerbation. The 20-item questionnaire with a 7-day recall assesses the frequency and severity of cough and sputum and their impact on everyday life in clinical (trial) settings. The four domains (cough/sputum symptom and impact) use scales from 0 to 100, with lower scores indicating higher symptom/impact levels.
Methods: Outpatients were enrolled within 48h of symptom onset of their exacerbation. Treatment was initiated at the discretion of the investigator, and patients observed for 6 weeks. During study visits, 59 eligible patients completed the CASA-Q at enrolment, week 1, 2 and 6. Responsiveness was assessed by calculating standardized effect sizes.
Results: Of the 19 male and 40 female patients with a mean (standard deviation, SD) age of 61.1 (10.5) years, all were classified by their physician to have improved or recovered after six weeks. The mean (SD) CASA-Q sores for the cough symptom, cough impact, sputum symptom and sputum impact domains increased from 32.6 (21.0), 40.7 (22.4), 37.4 (20.1), 47.1 (24.2) at enrolment to 54.0 (19.8), 63.7 (21.3), 55.1 (19.0), 65.5 (20.5) at week 6, respectively. Standardized effect sizes for patients improved or recovered from their exacerbation at week 6 were above 1.0 for the cough domains and at least 0.77 for the sputum domains.
Conclusions: The CASA-Q was responsive to symptom changes in patients recovering from an exacerbation.
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