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      Symptoms, Management and Healthcare Utilization of COPD Patients During the COVID-19 Epidemic in Beijing

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          Social distancing and restriction measures during the COVID-19 epidemic may have impacts on medication availability and healthcare utilization for COPD patients, and thereby affect standard disease management. We aimed to investigate the change of respiratory symptoms, pharmacological treatment and healthcare utilization of COPD patients during the epidemic in Beijing, China.


          We conducted a single-center, cross-sectional survey performed at Peking University Third Hospital and recruited patients with COPD who were interviewed by phone call. Clinical data, including respiratory symptoms, pharmacological treatment, management and healthcare access before and during the COVID-19 epidemic from January 25 to April 25, 2020, were collected.


          A total of 153 patients were enrolled for analysis. Before the epidemic, 81.7% (125/153) had long-term maintenance medication and ICS/LABA (60.8%) and LAMA (57.5%) were most commonly used. During the epidemic, 75.2% (115/153) maintained their pharmacological treatment and 6.5% (10/153) had to reduce or stop taking medications, with a slight decrease of patients taking ICS/LABA (53.6%) and LAMA (56.9%). Most of the patients [76.5% (117/153)] had a low symptom burden, with a CAT score <10 during the epidemic. Of 153 patients, 45 (29.4%) patients reported worsening of respiratory symptoms but only 15.6% (7/45) sought medical care in hospitals, while the remaining expressed concerns about cross-infection in the hospital (55.5%, 25/45) or had mild symptoms which were managed by themselves (28.8%, 13/45).


          During the COVID-19 epidemic in Beijing, most of our COPD patients maintained their long-term pharmacological treatment and had mild-to-moderate symptoms. Approximately, 30.0% of the patients experienced worsening of respiratory symptoms, but most of them did not seek medical care in the hospital due to concerns about cross-infection.

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          Most cited references 16

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          Coronavirus Disease 2019 in elderly patients: characteristics and prognostic factors based on 4-week follow-up

          Highlights • COVID-19 in the elderly patients was severe and highly fatal • COVID-19 progressed rapidly in patients who died • Cardiovascular disease, COPD, dyspnea, lymphocytopenia and ARDS predict mortality • The elderly patients need close monitoring and timely treatment
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            Development and first validation of the COPD Assessment Test.

            There is need for a validated short, simple instrument to quantify chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) impact in routine practice to aid health status assessment and communication between patient and physician. Current health-related quality of life questionnaires provide valid assessment of COPD, but are complex, which limits routine use. The aim of the present study was to develop a short validated patient-completed questionnaire, the COPD Assessment Test (CAT), assessing the impact of COPD on health status. 21 candidate items identified through qualitative research with COPD patients were used in three prospective international studies (Europe and the USA, n = 1,503). Psychometric and Rasch analyses identified eight items fitting a unidimensional model to form the CAT. Items were tested for differential functioning between countries. Internal consistency was excellent: Cronbach's alpha = 0.88. Test re-test in stable patients (n = 53) was very good (intra-class correlation coefficient 0.8). In the sample from the USA, the correlation with the COPD-specific version of the St George's Respiratory Questionnaire was r = 0.80. The difference between stable (n = 229) and exacerbation patients (n = 67) was five units of the 40-point scale (12%; p<0.0001). The CAT is a short, simple questionnaire for assessing and monitoring COPD. It has good measurement properties, is sensitive to differences in state and should provide a valid, reliable and standardised measure of COPD health status with worldwide relevance.
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              COVID-19: Pandemic Contingency Planning for the Allergy and Immunology Clinic

              In the event of a global infectious pandemic, drastic measures may be needed that limit or require adjustment of ambulatory allergy services. However, no rationale for how to prioritize service shut down and patient care exists. A consensus-based ad-hoc expert panel of allergy/immunology specialists from the United States and Canada developed a service and patient prioritization schematic to temporarily triage allergy/immunology services. Recommendations and feedback were developed iteratively, using an adapted modified Delphi methodology to achieve consensus. During the ongoing pandemic while social distancing is being encouraged, most allergy/immunology care could be postponed/delayed or handled through virtual care. With the exception of many patients with primary immunodeficiency, patients on venom immunotherapy, and patients with asthma of a certain severity, there is limited need for face-to-face visits under such conditions. These suggestions are intended to help provide a logical approach to quickly adjust service to mitigate risk to both medical staff and patients. Importantly, individual community circumstances may be unique and require contextual consideration. The decision to enact any of these measures rests with the judgment of each clinician and individual health care system. Pandemics are unanticipated, and enforced social distancing/quarantining is highly unusual. This expert panel consensus document offers a prioritization rational to help guide decision making when such situations arise and an allergist/immunologist is forced to reduce services or makes the decision on his or her own to do so.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                14 October 2020
                : 15
                : 2487-2494
                [1 ]Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Peking University Third Hospital , Beijing, 100191, People's Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Yongchang SunDepartment of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Peking University Third Hospital , North Garden Road 49, Haidian District, Beijing, People's Republic of ChinaTel +86 13910979132Fax +86 108 226 6989 Email

                These authors contributed equally to this work

                © 2020 Liang 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. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms (

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 18, References: 19, Pages: 8
                Funded by: National Natural Science Foundation of China, open-funder-registry 10.13039/501100001809;
                This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China. [No. 81700039].
                Original Research

                Respiratory medicine

                management, covid-19, exacerbation, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease


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