Comprehensive Diagnostic Assessment of Health Status of Patients with Asthma or COPD: A Delphi Panel Study among Dutch Experts

Edmée F M M van den Akker*, Alex J. van't Hul, Erwin Birnie, Niels H. Chavannes, Maureen P M H Rutten-van Mölken, Johannes C C M In't Veen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


A comprehensive diagnostic assessment is needed to improve understanding of the health status of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma. Therefore, this study investigated which components and subsequent instruments should be part of a holistic assessment in secondary care. We also explored which data need to be exchanged for an adequate transfer of patients between primary and secondary care, and vice versa. A cross-sectional Web-based survey was conducted among Dutch healthcare professionals using a Delphi-like procedure; these included professionals working in primary or secondary care, medical advisors of health insurance companies and patients' representatives. The national guidelines were used as a starting point, resulting in a questionnaire addressing 55 components related to a comprehensive diagnostic assessment, covering the domains physiological impairments, symptoms, functional limitations and quality of life. Of the 151 experts and stakeholders invited, 92 (60.9%) completed the first round and 79 (52.3%) the second round; most respondents were pulmonologists. There was a high level of agreement between respondents from primary versus secondary care regarding which components should be measured during a comprehensive assessment of patients with asthma or COPD in secondary care and the instruments to measure these components. Regarding the exchange of information, upon referral, pulmonologists required little information from the general practitioners, whereas general practitioners required more extensive information after referral. An overview is provided of what should be part of a holistic assessment of health status in asthma and COPD. This information can be used as input for integrated care pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-199
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • COPD management
  • health status
  • Holistic assessment
  • information exchange
  • monitoring


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