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      A cross-sectional survey of current treatment and symptom burden of patients with COPD consulting for routine care according to GOLD 2014 classifications

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          As part of the Respiratory Disease Specific Program (DSP) conducted to provide observations of clinical practice from a physician and matched patient viewpoint, this study aimed to establish how patients with COPD are treated according to the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) classification system and to quantify the symptom burden.


          Data were obtained from the Respiratory DSP, a cross-sectional survey of patients with a diagnosis of COPD consulting for routine care in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, and the USA during the third quarter of 2013. Patients’ exacerbation risk and symptom data were used for classification into GOLD groups A−D based on GOLD 2014 criteria. Prescribing practices were stratified by physician type and time since patient diagnosis.


          A total of 903 physicians participated in the Respiratory DSP, with data from 1,641 patients included in this analysis. Most patients were classified into GOLD groups B (n=742; 45.2%) and D (n=704; 42.9%). Patients in groups A and D were most likely to be treated in line with GOLD recommendations (61.5% and 77.5%, respectively), compared with 40.1% for group B. Patients with a diagnosis within the past 12 months were more likely to be treated according to recommendations. Inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) in combination with one or more long-acting bronchodilator were prescribed across all GOLD groups. Patterns of treatment were, in general, similar for patients treated by a primary care physician or a pulmonologist. COPD assessment test scores ≥10 indicating a high symptom burden were reported for >80% of patients.


          This analysis confirmed a high symptom burden among patients with COPD and indicates some misalignment of prescribing with GOLD recommendations, particularly regarding the role of ICS/long-acting β 2-agonist (LABA) and ICS/LABA + long-acting muscarinic antagonist combinations across the different GOLD groups.

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          Most cited references 22

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          Global strategy for the diagnosis, management and prevention of COPD

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            Management of COPD in the UK primary-care setting: an analysis of real-life prescribing patterns

            Background Despite the availability of national and international guidelines, evidence suggests that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) treatment is not always prescribed according to recommendations. This study evaluated the current management of patients with COPD using a large UK primary-care database. Methods This analysis used electronic patient records and patient-completed questionnaires from the Optimum Patient Care Research Database. Data on current management were analyzed by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) group and presence or absence of a concomitant asthma diagnosis, in patients with a COPD diagnosis at ≥35 years of age and with spirometry results supportive of the COPD diagnosis. Results A total of 24,957 patients were analyzed, of whom 13,557 (54.3%) had moderate airflow limitation (GOLD Stage 2 COPD). The proportion of patients not receiving pharmacologic treatment for COPD was 17.0% in the total COPD population and 17.7% in the GOLD Stage 2 subset. Approximately 50% of patients in both cohorts were receiving inhaled corticosteroids (ICS), either in combination with a long-acting β2-agonist (LABA; 26.7% for both cohorts) or a LABA and a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA; 23.2% and 19.9%, respectively). ICS + LABA and ICS + LABA + LAMA were the most frequently used treatments in GOLD Groups A and B. Of patients without concomitant asthma, 53.7% of the total COPD population and 50.2% of the GOLD Stage 2 subset were receiving ICS. Of patients with GOLD Stage 2 COPD and no exacerbations in the previous year, 49% were prescribed ICS. A high proportion of GOLD Stage 2 COPD patients were symptomatic on their current management (36.6% with modified Medical Research Council score ≥2; 76.4% with COPD Assessment Test score ≥10). Conclusion COPD is not treated according to GOLD and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommendations in the UK primary-care setting. Some patients receive no treatment despite experiencing symptoms. Among those on treatment, most receive ICS irrespective of severity of airflow limitation, asthma diagnosis, and exacerbation history. Many patients on treatment continue to have symptoms.
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              Real-world physician and patient behaviour across countries: Disease-Specific Programmes - a means to understand.

              Treatment guidelines and strategies are often based on data from randomized controlled trials and observational clinical studies. These sources drive treatment decisions, yet the data they provide may have limited relevance to the wider population in real-world clinical practice due to the narrow selection criteria applied to patients in trials. Information used to inform clinical practice and improve patient outcomes can, therefore, be unreflective of real-world clinical situations. The purpose of this article is to assess the value of Adelphi Disease Specific Programmes (DSPs) as sources of real world data. DSPs are large, multinational, observational studies of clinical practice for a range of common chronic diseases. Treatment practice data are collected by physicians (n = 700) who are asked to provide information for the next 10 patients consulting for a specific condition. These patients (n = 7000) are also invited to fill out a self-completion form providing their own assessment of symptoms, expectations and quality of life. This article provides examples of the statistical techniques that have been employed to analyse the data in terms of cost/burden of illness, quality of life, disease severity and progression, compliance and adherence to therapy, impact of treatment guidelines and analyses of unmet need. DSPs can support clinical understanding of how diseases are managed including rationale for doctor decision-making and patient attitudes to their condition. Comparisons with other data sources and limitations of the programmes are discussed (including the fact that, unlike claims databases and registries, the DSPs are cross-sectional and not longitudinal).

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                23 May 2017
                : 12
                : 1527-1537
                [1 ]Medical Evidence and Observational Research, AstraZeneca Gothenburg, Mölndal, Sweden
                [2 ]Real World Research (Respiratory), Adelphi Real World, Bollington, UK
                [3 ]Global Payer Evidence and Pricing, AstraZeneca Gothenburg, Mölndal, Sweden
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Bo Ding, Medical Evidence and Observational Research, Global Medical Affairs, AstraZeneca Gothenburg, Pepparedsleden 1, SE-431 83 Mölndal, Sweden, Tel +46 31 776 2406, Email bo.ding@
                © 2017 Ding et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research

                Respiratory medicine

                routine care, symptom, gold group, treatment, copd, bronchodilators


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