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A New Approach for Identifying Patients with Undiagnosed Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Resource Type: Research Papers

This article describes research recently conducted to develop a simple and straightforward COPD screening questionnaire for use in primary care. With the input of COPD patients, the authors developed and tested a five-item questionnaire that included questions about:

  • Occupational exposure to smoke, dust and other pollutants
  • Breathing changes with air quality and seasons
  • Breathing difficulty with activities such as jogging, carrying heavy loads or shoveling dirt and snow
  • Frequency with which the patient tires compared so same-aged peers
  • Frequency of colds, bronchitis or pneumonia in the past year

The questionnaire showed the highest sensitivity and specificity when paired with peak expiratory flow rates. The authors assert that when used in conjunction with peak flow measurements, this new tool -- CAPTURE (COPD Assessment in Primary Care To Identify Undiagnosed Respiratory Disease and Exacerbation Risk) -- can be successful in identifying patients with COPD whose diagnosis can be confirmed via spirometry.

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Martinez F, Mannino D, Leidy NK, et al. A New Approach for Identifying Patients with Undiagnosed Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2017; 195: 6. Accessed March 11, 2020.



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  • Oddly enough I can answer at least 2 of the Questions 100%. This seems like a simple questionnaire, however this is another great tool to address COPD prior to spirometry. I knew something was wrong with me due to the weather changes early on and when I shoveled snow.
    • I agree Bill.
      It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out something is wrong, after positively answering a couple of those questions.
      Having attended COPDUsa10 was very enlightening. Specifically I got 2 very helpful resources:
      1 - The COPD Pocket Reference; it's a 3-fold pamphlet, lists the drugs {generic names only} discusses severity of symptoms and Speciffically includes both CAT - COPD assessment Test, and mMRC.

      2 - The global Initative for COPD a pocket guide for professionals. While it includes the above info, they also discuss the GOLD factors and determine an ABCD rating of your condition. This rating combines these various factors relevant to YOUR disease. While we both may have FEV's less than 30%, you may be on O2 and not me.

      I would hope some of the pro's here would discuss this more eloquently than I can as a mere patient.