Response of the COPD Assessment Test to pulmonary rehabilitation in unselected chronic respiratory disease

Respirology. 2013 Aug;18(6):974-7. doi: 10.1111/resp.12084.


Background and objective: The COPD Assessment Test (CAT) is a recently introduced, simple-to-use health status instrument that takes less time to complete than better-established health status instruments. In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients, the CAT improves with pulmonary rehabilitation (PR), and changes correlate with improvements in longer-established health status instruments such as the Chronic Respiratory Questionnaire (CRQ). Increasing numbers of non-COPD patients are referred for PR, but it is not known whether the CAT is responsive to PR in these populations.

Methods: The CAT score was prospectively measured in 365 consecutive patients (255 COPD, 110 non-COPD) before and after an 8-week PR programme. Pre to post change in CAT was calculated for COPD and non-COPD patients, and correlated with change in the CRQ.

Results: For both non-COPD and COPD patients, there was a similar and significant improvement in the mean (95% confidence interval) CAT score following PR (non-COPD: -2.1 (-1.0, -3.2) vs COPD: -3.0 (-2.2, -3.8); P = 0.19). Change in CAT was significantly correlated with all domains of the CRQ in non-COPD patients (all P < 0.01).

Conclusions: As in COPD patients, the CAT is immediately responsive to PR in non-COPD patients. Even in unselected chronic respiratory disease patients undergoing PR, the CAT is a practical alternative to longer-established health status questionnaires.

Keywords: asthma; bronchiectasis; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; interstitial lung disease; rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume / physiology
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Humans
  • Lung / physiology
  • Lung / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / diagnosis*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / rehabilitation*
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vital Capacity / physiology