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Adherence to GOLD guidelines in real-life COPD management in the Puglia region of Italy

Authors Palmiotti GA, Lacedonia D, Liotino V, Schino P, Satriano F, Di Napoli PL, Sabato E, Mastrosimone V, Scoditti A, Carone M, Costantino E, Resta E, Attolini E, Foschino Barbaro MP

Received 22 November 2017

Accepted for publication 8 May 2018

Published 15 August 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 2455—2462


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Giuseppe Antonio Palmiotti,1 Donato Lacedonia,1 Vito Liotino,2 Pietro Schino,3 Francesco Satriano,4 Pier Luigi Di Napoli,3 Eugenio Sabato,5 Vincenzo Mastrosimone,6 Alfredo Scoditti,7 Mauro Carone,8 Elio Costantino,9 Emanuela Resta,2 Ettore Attolini,10 Maria Pia Foschino Barbaro1

1Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, Institute of Respiratory Diseases, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy; 2Department of Cardiac, Thoracic, and Vascular Science, Institute of Respiratory Diseases, School of Medicine, University of Bari, Bari, Italy; 3Physiopathology Respiratory Unit, F Miulli General Hospital, Acquaviva delle Fonti, Bari, Italy; 4Pneumology Clinic, Vito Fazzi Hospital, Lecce, Italy; 5UOC of Pneumology, “N Melli” Hospital, San Pietro Vernotico, Italy; 6Division of Pulmonary Disease, Medical Center of Rehabilitation, Foundation Salvatore Maugeri, IRCCS, Marina di Ginosa, Italy; 7Department of Respiratory Diseases, San Camillo Clinic, Taranto, Italy; 8Division of Pulmonary Disease, Medical Center of Rehabilitation, Foundation Salvatore Maugeri, IRCCS, Cassano delle Murge, Italy; 9UOC of Pneumology, Hospital “Madonna delle Grazie”, Matera, Italy; 10Regional Health Agency (ARES), Bari, Italy

Background: COPD is a disease associated with significant economic burden. It was reported that Global initiative for chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) guideline-oriented pharmacotherapy improves airflow limitation and reduces health care costs. However, several studies showed a significant dissociation between international recommendations and clinicians’ practices. The consequent reduced diagnostic and therapeutic inappropriateness has proved to be associated with an increase in costs and a waste of economic resources in the health sector. The aim of the study was to evaluate COPD management in the Puglia region. The study was performed in collaboration with the pulmonology centers and the Regional Health Agency (AReS Puglia).
Methods: An IT platform allowed the pulmonologists to enter data via the Internet. All COPD patients who visited a pneumological outpatient clinic for the first time or for regular follow-ups or were admitted to a pneumological department for an exacerbation were considered eligible for the study. COPD’s diagnosis was confirmed by a pulmonologist at the moment of the visit. The project lasted 18 months and involved 17 centers located in the Puglia region.
Results: Six hundred ninety-three patients were enrolled, evenly distributed throughout the region. The mean age was 71±9 years, and 85% of them were males. Approximately 23% were current smokers, 63% former smokers and 13.5% never smokers. The mean post-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 second was 59%±20% predicted. The platform allowed the classification of patients according to the GOLD guidelines (Group A: 20.6%, Group B: 32.3%, Group C: 5.9% and Group D: 39.2%), assessed the presence and severity of exacerbations (20% of the patients had an exacerbation defined as mild [13%], moderate [37%] and severe [49%]) and evaluated the appropriateness of inhalation therapy at the time of the visit. Forty-nine percent of Group A patients were following inappropriate therapy; in Group B, 45.8% were following a therapy in contrast with the guidelines. Among Group C patients, 41.46% resulted in triple combination therapy, while ~14% of Group D patients did not have a therapy or were following an inappropriate therapy. In conclusion, 30% of all patients evaluated had been following an inadequate therapy. Subsequently, an online survey was developed to inquire about the reasons for the results obtained. In particular, we investigated the reasons why 30% of our population did not follow the therapy suggested by the GOLD guidelines: 1) why was there an excessive use of inhaled corticosteroids, 2) why a significantly high percentage was inappropriately treated with triple therapy and 3) why a consistent percentage (11%) of Group D patients were not treated at all.
Conclusion: The data provides an overview on the management of COPD in the region of Puglia (Italy) and represents a resource in order to improve appropriateness and reduce the waste of health resources.

COPD, appropriateness, web platform, health care spending, online survey

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