Exacerbations of COPD: quantifying the patient's perspective using discrete choice modelling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Patient-centred care is the current vogue in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but it is only recently that robust techniques have become available to determine patients' values and preferences. In this international cross-sectional study, patients' concerns and expectations regarding COPD exacerbations were explored using discrete choice modelling. A fractional factorial design was used to develop scenarios comprising a combination of levels for nine different attributes. In face-to-face interviews, patients were presented with paired scenarios and asked to choose the least preferable. Multinomial logit (with hierarchical Bayes) methods were used to estimate utilities. A total of 125 patients (82 males; mean age 66 yrs; 4.6 mean exacerbations(.)yr(-1)) were recruited. The attributes of exacerbations considered most important were impact on everyday life (20%) need for medical care (16%), number of future attacks (12%) and breathlessness (11 %). The next most important attributes were speed of recovery, productive cough and social impact (all 9%), followed by sleep disturbance and impact on mood (both 7%). Importantly, analysis of utility shifts showed that patients most feared being hospitalised, housebound or bedridden. These issues were more important than symptom improvement. Strategies for the clinical management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease should clearly address patients' concerns and focus on preventing and treating exacerbations to avoid these feared outcomes.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Respiratory Medicine and Allergy


  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, discrete choice modelling, exacerbations, patient perceptions
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-629
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Publication categoryResearch