What Are the Assessment Tests for COPD?

Q: What is the COPD assessment test?

A:The COPD Assessment Test is called CAT. It is a questionnaire for people with COPD. It is designed to measure the impact of COPD on a person and how the disease changes over time. COPD assessment test can help you know how severe your COPD is. The result is useful for your doctor to adjust the use of medication or treatment therapies.

Q:How can I take COPD assessment test?

A: CAT is an eight-item questionnaire designed to quantify the impact of COPD symptoms on the health status of patients. The CAT is quick and easy for patients to complete and, without any calculations, provides a score of 0-40 to indicate the impact of disease. The clinical course of COPD is chronically progressive with exacerbations, which are episodes of acute worsening of symptoms and lung function. COPD exacerbations increase the risk of cardiovascular events and contribute to the over all severity in individual patients. The rate at which COPD exacerbations occur appears to reflect an independent susceptibility phenotype. Currently, there is no standardized method for assessing the severity of symptoms of exacerbating COPD.

Q: How many aspects are included in the assessment test?

A high COPD Assessment score related to its severity. The higher the number, the more serious the impairment. The range of questions is related to different aspects of the disease (ranges from 0 to 5), as follows:

  • Cough – rated from 0 for “I never cough” to 5 for “I cough all the time”
  • Mucus – rated from 0 for “I have no mucus at all” to 5 for “My chest is completely     full of mucus”
  • Chest tightness – rated from 0 for “My chest does not feel tight at all” to 5 for “My chest feels very tight”
  • Shortness of breath – rated from 0 for “When I walk up one flight of stairs, I am not breathless” to 5 for “When I walk up one flight of stairs I am very breathless”
  • Activity restriction at home – rated from 0 for “I am not limited doing any activities at home” to 5 for “I am very limited doing activities at home”
  • Activity restriction outside of the home – rated from 0 for “I am confident leaving my home despite my lung condition” to 5 for “I am not at all confident leaving my home because of my lung condition”
  • Impact on sleep – rated from 0 for “I sleep soundly” to 5 for “I don’t sleep soundly because of my lung condition”
  • Impact on energy – rated from 0 for “I have lots of energy” to 5 for “I have no energy at all”

Q: What does the result of CAT tell us?

A: While the CAT is not used to diagnose COPD, it can determine when your treatment should start, how many treatments you should take and how well you respond to the treatments. It is very valuable. People with score of 10 or more should receive daily therapy as soon as possible.

In addition, any increase of more than two (either up or down) is considered a significant change in symptom control. Specifically, any upward trend is considered as a deteriorate while a downward trend is kind of improvement.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.