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      COPD symptom burden: impact on health care resource utilization, and work and activity impairment

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          Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can greatly impact the quality of life by limiting patients’ activities. However, data on impact of symptomatic burden on the health care resource utilization (HCRU) and employment in COPD are lacking. We examined the association between COPD Assessment Test (CAT) score and direct/indirect costs associated with HCRU and work productivity.


          Data from >2,100 patients with COPD consulting for routine care were derived from respiratory disease-specific programs in Europe, the USA and China. Questionnaires, including CAT and Work Productivity and Activity Impairment (WPAI), were used to collect the past and current disease status data and HCRU characteristics from physicians (general practitioners/specialists) and patients. A regression approach was used to quantify the association of CAT with HCRU and WPAI variables. CAT score was modeled as a continuous independent variable (range: 0–40).


          Ninety percent of patients with COPD had a CAT score ≥10. Short-acting therapy and maintenance bronchodilator monotherapy, respectively, were currently prescribed to patients with CAT scores of 10–19 (5.8% and 27.6%), 20–29 (5.1% and 13.1%) and 30–40 (2.8% and 6.6%). Prescribing of maintenance bronchodilator dual therapy was low across the CAT score groups (0–9, 7.8%; 10–19, 6.4%; 20–29, 5.9%; 30–40, 4.4%), whereas maintenance triple combination therapy was prescribed more commonly in patients with higher CAT scores (0–9, 16.1%; 10–19, 23.2%; 20–29, 25.9%; 30–40, 35.5%). Increasing CAT scores were significantly associated with a higher frequency of primary care physician visits ( P<0.001), pulmonologist visits ( P=0.007), exacerbations requiring hospitalization ( P<0.001) and WPAI scores ( P<0.001).


          Most patients with COPD presented with high symptom levels, despite being treated for COPD. Increasing symptom burden was associated with increasing HCRU and had a detrimental impact on work productivity.

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          Most cited references 15

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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).
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            GOLD 2011 disease severity classification in COPDGene: a prospective cohort study.

            The 2011 GOLD (Global Strategy for the Diagnosis, Management, and Prevention of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease [COPD]) consensus report uses symptoms, exacerbation history, and forced expiratory volume (FEV1)% to categorise patients according to disease severity and guide treatment. We aimed to assess both the influence of symptom instrument choice on patient category assignment and prospective exacerbation risk by category. Patients were recruited from 21 centres in the USA, as part of the COPDGene study. Eligible patients were aged 45-80 years, had smoked for 10 pack-years or more, and had an FEV1/forced vital capacity (FVC) <0·7. Categories were defined with the modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) dyspnoea scale (score 0-1 vs ≥2) and the St George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ; ≥25 vs <25 as a surrogate for the COPD Assessment Test [CAT] ≥10 vs <10) in addition to COPD exacerbations in the previous year (<2 vs ≥ 2), and lung function (FEV1% predicted ≥50 vs <50). Statistical comparisons were done with k-sample permutation tests. This study cohort is registered with, number NCT00608764. 4484 patients with COPD were included in this analysis. Category assignment using the mMRC scale versus SGRQ were similar but not identical. On the basis of the mMRC scale, 1507 (33·6%) patients were assigned to category A, 919 (20·5%) to category B, 355 (7·9%) to category C, and 1703 (38·0%) to category D; on the basis of the SGRQ, 1317 (29·4%) patients were assigned to category A, 1109 (24·7%) to category B, 221 (4·9%) to category C, and 1837 (41·0%) to category D (κ coefficient for agreement, 0·77). Significant heterogeneity in prospective exacerbation rates (exacerbations/person-years) were seen, especially in the D subcategories, depending on the risk factor that determined category assignment (lung function only [0·89, 95% CI 0·78-1·00]), previous exacerbation history only [1·34, 1·0-1·6], or both [1·86, 1·6-2·1; p<0·0001]). The GOLD classification emphasises the importance of symptoms and exacerbation risk when assessing COPD severity. The choice of symptom measure influences category assignment. The relative number of patients with low symptoms and high risk for exacerbations (category C) is low. Differences in exacerbation rates for patients in the highest risk category D were seen depending on whether risk was based on lung function, exacerbation history, or both. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and the COPD Foundation through contributions from AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Novartis, and Sepracor. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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              Creating scenarios of the impact of copd and their relationship to copd assessment test (CAT™) scores

              Background The COPD Assessment Test (CAT™) is a new short health status measure for routine use. New questionnaires require reference points so that users can understand the scores; descriptive scenarios are one way of doing this. A novel method of creating scenarios is described. Methods A Bland and Altman plot showed a consistent relationship between CAT scores and scores obtained with the St George's Respiratory Questionnaire for COPD (SGRQ-C) permitting a direct mapping process between CAT and SGRQ items. The severity associated with each CAT item was calculated using a probabilistic model and expressed in logits (log odds of a patient of given severity affirming that item 50% of the time). Severity estimates for SGRQ-C items in logits were also available, allowing direct comparisons with CAT items. CAT scores were categorised into Low, Medium, High and Very High Impact. SGRQ items of corresponding severity were used to create scenarios associated with each category. Results Each CAT category was associated with a scenario comprising 12 to 16 SGRQ-C items. A severity 'ladder' associating CAT scores with exemplar health status effects was also created. Items associated with 'Low' and 'Medium' Impact appeared to be subjectively quite severe in terms of their effect on daily life. Conclusions These scenarios provide users of the CAT with a good sense of the health impact associated with different scores. More generally they provide a surprising insight into the severity of the effects of COPD, even in patients with apparently mild-moderate health status impact.

                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
                21 February 2017
                : 12
                : 677-689
                [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.

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