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Fam Med. 2013 Mar;45(3):197-200.

Clinical utility of the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease knowledge questionnaire.

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Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Department of Family Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37920, USA.



Although typically symptomatic, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is undertreated as compared to many asymptomatic conditions such as hypertension. Unfortunately, many patients lack basic information about their major disease states, including COPD. The purpose of this study was to assess the clinical utility of the valid and reliable COPD Questionnaire (COPD-Q) in a sample of underserved patients carrying a diagnosis of COPD.


This prospective, descriptive study enrolled COPD patients at a family medicine residency teaching clinic. Patients were administered a telephone survey assessing COPD knowledge, demographic data, and health literacy. Data regarding COPD clinical outcomes were gathered through the electronic medical record.


Average total COPD-Q score was 7.6 plus or minus 2.1 (total possible score=13). Total COPD-Q scores were significantly related to health literacy and educational attainment.


The COPD-Q is a valid, reliable tool used to assess COPD knowledge in a setting that includes patients with limited health literacy. It is useful in identifying key knowledge deficits that will allow the clinician to offer focused, individualized patient education and counseling.

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