Validation of the breathlessness, cough and sputum scale to predict COPD exacerbation

DeVries, Rebecca; Kriebel, David; Sama, Susan
December 2016
Primary Care Respiratory Society UK;12/1/2016, p16083
Academic Journal
The breathlessness, cough and sputum scale (BCSS) is a three-item questionnaire rating breathlessness, cough and sputum on a 5-point Likert scale from 0 (no symptoms) to 4 (severe symptoms). Researchers have explored the utility of this tool to quantify efficacy of treatment following a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbation; however, little work has been done to investigate the ability of the BCSS to predict COPD exacerbation. As part of a prospective case-crossover study among a cohort of 168 COPD patients residing in central Massachusetts, patients were asked standard BCSS questions during exacerbation and randomly identified non-exacerbation (or healthy) weeks. We found that the BCSS was strongly associated with COPD exacerbation (OR=2.80, 95% CI=2.27-3.45) and that a BCSS sum score of 5.0 identified COPD exacerbation with 83% sensitivity and 68% specificity. These results may be useful in the clinical setting to expedite interventions of exacerbation.


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