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      Investigating sensitivity, specificity, and area under the curve of the Clinical COPD Questionnaire, COPD Assessment Test, and Modified Medical Research Council scale according to GOLD using St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire cutoff 25 (and 20) as reference

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          In the GOLD (Global initiative for chronic Obstructive Lung Disease) strategy document, the Clinical COPD Questionnaire (CCQ), COPD Assessment Test (CAT), or modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) scale are recommended for the assessment of symptoms using the cutoff points of CCQ ≥1, CAT ≥10, and mMRC scale ≥2 to indicate symptomatic patients. The current study investigates the criterion validity of the CCQ, CAT and mMRC scale based on a reference cutoff point of St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) ≥25, as suggested by GOLD, following sensitivity and specificity analysis. In addition, areas under the curve (AUCs) of the CCQ, CAT, and mMRC scale were compared using two SGRQ cutoff points (≥25 and ≥20).

          Materials and methods

          Two data sets were used: study A, 238 patients from a pulmonary rehabilitation program; and study B, 101 patients from primary care. Receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curves were used to assess the correspondence between the recommended cutoff points of the questionnaires.


          Sensitivity, specificity, and AUC scores for cutoff point SGRQ ≥25 were: study A, 0.99, 0.43, and 0.96 for CCQ ≥1, 0.92, 0.48, and 0.89 for CAT ≥10, and 0.68, 0.91, and 0.91 for mMRC ≥2; study B, 0.87, 0.77, and 0.9 for CCQ ≥1, 0.76, 0.73, and 0.82 for CAT ≥10, and 0.21, 1, and 0.81 for mMRC ≥2. Sensitivity, specificity, and AUC scores for cutoff point SGRQ ≥20 were: study A, 0.99, 0.73, and 0.99 for CCQ ≥1, 0.91, 0.73, and 0.94 for CAT ≥10, and 0.66, 0.95, and 0.94 for mMRC ≥2; study B, 0.8, 0.89, and 0.89 for CCQ ≥1, 0.69, 0.78, and 0.8 for CAT ≥10, and 0.18, 1, and 0.81 for mMRC ≥2.


          Based on data from these two different samples, this study showed that the suggested cutoff point for the SGRQ (≥25) did not seem to correspond well with the established cutoff points of the CCQ or CAT scales, resulting in low specificity levels. The correspondence with the mMRC scale seemed satisfactory, though not optimal. The SGRQ threshold of ≥20 corresponded slightly better than SGRQ ≥25, recently suggested by GOLD 2015, with the established cutoff points for the CCQ, CAT, and mMRC scale.

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          Most cited references 14

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          Health status measurement in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

           G Jones (2001)
          Health status measurement is a common feature of studies in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This review assesses recent evidence for the validity of these measurements and their role as measures of the overall impact of the disease on the patient's daily life and wellbeing. It reviews the mostly widely used COPD specific questionnaires and examines the contribution that they make to an assessment of the overall effect of treatment. Finally, it addresses the question of how symptomatic benefit may be assessed in individual patients in routine practice.
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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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              Factors that influence disease-specific quality of life or health status in patients with COPD: a review and meta-analysis of Pearson correlations.

              A major goal in the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is to ensure that the burden of the disease for patients with COPD is limited and that patients will have the best possible quality of life. To explore all the possible factors that could influence disease-specific quality of life and health status in patients with COPD. A systematic review of the literature and a meta-analysis were performed to explore the factors that could have a positive or negative effect on quality of life and/or health status in patients with COPD. Quality of life and health status are determined by certain factors included gender, disease severity indices, lung function parameters, body mass index, smoking, symptoms, co-morbidity, depression, anxiety, and exacerbations. Factors such as dyspnoea, depression, anxiety and exercise tolerance were found to be more correlated with health status than the widely used spirometric values. Forced expiratory volume in one second had a weak to modest Pearson weighted correlation coefficient which ranged from -0.110 to -0.510 depending on the questionnaire used. The broad range of determining factors suggests that, in order to reach the management goals, health status should be measured in addition to lung function in patients with COPD.

                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
                18 May 2016
                : 11
                : 1045-1052
                [1 ]Department of General Practice, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands, Germany
                [2 ]GRIAC Research Institute, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands, Germany
                [3 ]Klinik Bad Reichenhall, Center for Rehabilitation, Pulmonology and Orthopedics, Bad Reichenhall, Germany
                [4 ]Department of Medical Psychology, Psychotherapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Ioanna G Tsiligianni, Department of General Practice, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, 1 Antonius Deusinglaan, Groningen 9713 AV, the Netherlands, Tel +31 50 363 7478, Fax +31 50 363 2964, Email i.tsiligianni@
                © 2016 Tsiligianni 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

                health status, pulmonary disease, chronic obstructive


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