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      The role of CAT in evaluating the response to treatment of patients with AECOPD

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          The chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Assessment Test (CAT) questionnaire is a short patient-completed questionnaire, which is used to assess the health status of patients with stable COPD. However, whether it is a good tool to evaluate the response to treatment in acute exacerbation of COPD (AECOPD) has been less studied.


          The patients were assessed at two visits, at admission and on the seventh day. Anthropometric variables were collected at admission. CAT and lung function were measured twice at the above time points. At the second visit, the health status of the patients were divided into five groups based on a 5-point Likert scale, ranging from 1 to 5, which represents “much better,” “slightly better,” “no change,” “slightly worse,” and “much worse.” Responders were those who reported “much better” or “slightly better,” and nonresponders were those who claimed “no change,” “worse,” or “much worse.”


          In total, 225 patients were recruited. The average CAT score at admission was 24.82±7.41, which declined to 17.41±7.35 on the seventh day. There were 81.33% responders, whose improvement in CAT score (9.37±5.24) was much higher than that of the nonresponders (−1.36±4.35). A moderate correlation was observed between the changes in CAT score and improvement in FEV 1, FEV 1%, and the length of hospital stay. There was a strong correlation between the changes in CAT score and health status. A 3.5-unit improvement in the CAT score, with highest area under the curve, was the cutoff to differentiate responders from nonresponders.


          The evolution of CAT scores during exacerbation can provide useful information to assess the health status of patients with AECOPD. A 3.5-unit improvement in CAT score is the best cutoff to differentiate between patients who have a response or no response to treatment, which offers a convenient and easy way for clinicians to monitor the health status of patients with an AECOPD.

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          Most cited references 23

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          Assessing health status in COPD. A head-to-head comparison between the COPD assessment test (CAT) and the clinical COPD questionnaire (CCQ)

          Background Health status provides valuable information, complementary to spirometry and improvement of health status has become an important treatment goal in COPD management. We compared the usefulness and validity of the COPD Assessment Test (CAT) and the Clinical COPD Questionnaire (CCQ), two simple questionnaires, in comparison with the St. George Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ). Methods We administered the CAT, CCQ and SGRQ in patients with COPD stage I-IV during three visits. Spirometry, 6 MWT, MRC scale, BODE index, and patients perspectives on questionnaires were recorded in all visits. Standard Error of Measurement (SEM) was used to calculate the Minimal Clinical Important Difference (MCID) of all questionnaires. Results We enrolled 90 COPD patients. Cronbach's alpha for both CAT and CCQ was high (0.86 and 0.89, respectively). Patients with severe COPD reported worse health status compared to milder subgroups. CAT and CCQ correlated significantly (rho =0.64, p < 0.01) and both with the SGRQ (rho = 0.65; CAT and rho = 0.77; CCQ, p < 0.01). Both questionnaires exhibited a weak correlation with lung function (rho = −0.35;CAT and rho = −0.41; CCQ, p < 0.01). Their reproducibility was high; CAT: ICC = 0.94 (CI 0.92-0.96), total CCQ ICC = 0.95 (0.92-0.96) and SGRQ = 0.97 (CI 0.95-0.98). The MCID calculated using the SEM method showed results similar to previous studies of 3.76 for the CAT, 0.41 for the CCQ and 4.84 for SGRQ. Patients suggested both CAT and CCQ as easier tools than SGRQ in terms of complexity and time considerations. More than half of patients preferred CCQ instead of CAT. Conclusions The CAT and CCQ have similar psychometric properties with a slight advantage for CCQ based mainly on patients’ preference and are both valid and reliable questionnaires to assess health status in COPD patients.
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            Responsiveness and MCID Estimates for CAT, CCQ, and HADS in Patients With COPD Undergoing Pulmonary Rehabilitation: A Prospective Analysis.

            Pulmonary rehabilitation enhances health status and mood status in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The aim was to determine the responsiveness of St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), COPD Assessment Test (CAT), COPD Clinical Questionnaire (CCQ), and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) to pulmonary rehabilitation in patients with COPD, and estimate minimum clinically important differences (MCIDs) for CAT, CCQ, and HADS.
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              Is the CAT questionnaire sensitive to changes in health status in patients with severe COPD exacerbations?

              The COPD Assessment Test (CAT) was validated in English showing good psychometric properties. The objective of this study is to assess the capacity of the CAT to detect changes in health status in patients experiencing COPD exacerbations (ECOPD) and to further explore the validity of the Spanish version. An observational study was conducted in 49 Spanish centres. Patients hospitalised because of ECOPD (n = 224) completed the CAT, the St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire-adapted for COPD (SGRQ-C) and the London Chest Activities of Daily Living (LCADL) questionnaire during the first 48 hours of admission and 4 ± 1 weeks after discharge. Stable patients (n = 153) also completed these at recruitment and 4 ± 1 weeks later. Over 90% of patients were male. The CAT discriminated between stable and ECOPD patients (15.8 vs 22.4, p < 0.01), as well as between patients with different levels of airflow limitation and dyspnea (MRC scale). The CAT proved sensitive to change; change in mean score was 8.9 points (effect size (ES), 0.90) in ECOPD patients reporting their health state as "much better" after discharge, 4.8 points in those reporting "quite a lot better" (ES = 0.63), and 4.6 points in those reporting "slightly better" (ES = 0.59). Cronbach's alpha and Intraclass Correlation Coefficient were 0.86 and 0.83, respectively. It correlated with both the SGRQ (r = 0.82; p < 0.01) and the LCADL (r = 0.63; p < 0.01). Change in CAT correlated well with Δ SGRQ (r = 0.63; p < 0.01). The CAT showed to be sensitive to the change in health status associated with ECOPD. We also provide evidence of the validity of the Spanish version.

                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
                11 September 2018
                : 13
                : 2849-2858
                [1 ]Department of Respiratory Medicine, Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410011, China, pingchen0731@
                [2 ]Research Unit of Respiratory Disease, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410011, China, pingchen0731@
                [3 ]Diagnosis and Treatment Center of Respiratory Disease, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410011, China, pingchen0731@
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Ping Chen, Department of Respiratory Medicine, Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, 139 Renmin Middle Road, Changsha, Hunan 410011, China, Tel +86 731 8529 5248, Fax +86 731 8529 5848, Email pingchen0731@
                © 2018 Zhou 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

                curative effect, copd, cat, acute exacerbation


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