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Compliance of Pharmacotherapy with GOLD Guidelines: A Longitudinal Study in Patients with COPD

Authors Grewe FA, Sievi NA, Bradicich M, Roeder M, Brack T, Brutsche MH, Frey M, Irani S, Leuppi JD, Thurnheer R, Clarenbach CF, Kohler M

Received 28 November 2019

Accepted for publication 10 March 2020

Published 26 March 2020 Volume 2020:15 Pages 627—635


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Fabian A Grewe,1 Noriane A Sievi,1 Matteo Bradicich,1 Maurice Roeder,1 Thomas Brack,2 Martin H Brutsche,3 Martin Frey,4 Sarosh Irani,5 Jörg D Leuppi,6 Robert Thurnheer,7 Christian F Clarenbach,1 Malcolm Kohler1,8

1Pulmonary Division, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; 2Pulmonary Division, Cantonal Hospital of Glarus, Glarus, Switzerland; 3Pulmonary Division, Cantonal Hospital of St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland; 4Pulmonary Division, Clinic Barmelweid, Erlinsbach, Switzerland; 5Pulmonary Division, Cantonal Hospital of Aarau, Aarau, Switzerland; 6University Department of Medicine, Cantonal Hospital Baselland and University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland; 7Pulmonary Division, Cantonal Hospital of Münsterlingen, Münsterlingen, Switzerland; 8Zurich Centre for Integrative Human Physiology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Correspondence: Malcolm Kohler
Pulmonary Division, University Hospital Zurich, Raemistrasse 100, Zurich 8091, Switzerland

Objective: To evaluate the clinical implementation of pharmacotherapy recommendations for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) based on the Global Initiative for chronic obstructive lung disease (GOLD) guidelines, in a longitudinal setting.
Methods: This is a sub-analysis of a prospective, non-interventional cohort study including patients with confirmed mild-to-very-severe COPD from seven pulmonary outpatient clinics in Switzerland. Follow-up visits took place annually for up to 7 years, from October 2010 until December 2016. For each visit, we evaluated the compliance of the prescribed pharmacotherapy with the concurrently valid GOLD guideline. We investigated whether step-ups or step-downs in GOLD stage or risk-group were accompanied by concordant changes in prescribed medication. Groups were compared via ANOVA.
Results: Data of 305 patients (62± 7 years, 66% men) were analysed. In 59.1% of visits, the prescribed medication conformed to the respective valid GOLD-guideline. Patients with very severe COPD were most likely to receive pharmacotherapy in compliance with guidelines. Step-ups and step-downs in risk group, requiring escalation, or de-escalation of pharmacotherapy, were noticed in 24 and 43 follow-up visits, respectively. Step-ups were adequately implemented in 4 (16.7%) and step-downs in six cases (14.0%).
Conclusion: The compliance of COPD-pharmacotherapy with GOLD-guidelines is suboptimal, especially in lower risk groups. The high rates of missed out treatment-adjustments suggest that the familiarity of physicians with guidelines leaves room for improvement.

Keywords: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease guidelines, guideline-compliance

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