Impact of COPD case finding on clinical care: a prospective analysis of the TargetCOPD trial

Shamil Haroon, Peymane Adab, Andy Dickens, Alice Sitch, Kiran Rai, Alexandra Enocson, David Fitzmaurice, Rachel Jordan

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Objectives To investigate the impact of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) case finding on clinical care. Design We conducted a prospective observational analysis of data from a pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial in primary care in the West Midlands, UK (TargetCOPD). This compared alternative methods of COPD case finding against usual care. Data were extracted from electronic healthcare records and self-reported questionnaires for a subset of patients with newly diagnosed COPD. Setting 50 general practices that participated in the TargetCOPD trial. Participants Patients aged 40-79 years newly identified with COPD by targeted case finding or by usual care, from 10 August 2012 to 22 June 2014. Primary and secondary outcome measures The primary outcome was addition to a COPD register by the end of the trial. The secondary outcome was a clinical care score, derived from the sum of clinical assessments and relevant interventions. Associations between participant characteristics and the primary and secondary outcomes were assessed using multilevel regression. Results 857 patients identified with COPD by case finding and 764 by usual care were included. Only 21.2% of case-found patients had been added to a COPD register, compared with 92.7% of those diagnosed by usual care. The odds of being added were greater in smokers (adjusted OR 8.68, 95% CI 2.53 to 29.8), and in those with lower percentage of predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 s (adjusted OR 0.96 per percentage rise, 95% CI 0.95 to 0.98). Patients who had been added to a COPD register had a significantly higher clinical care score (mean difference 5.06, 95% CI 4.36 to 5.75). Conclusions Only one in five case-found patients had been registered with COPD. Patients added to a COPD register received significantly higher levels of appropriate clinical care. Trial registration number ISRCTN14930255; Post-results.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere038286
Number of pages10
JournalBMJ open
Issue number10
Early online date5 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ.


  • chronic airways disease
  • primary care
  • public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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