Quality of Life Research

, 18:191

Factors associated with short-term recovery of health status among emergency department patients with acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

  • Chu-Lin Tsai
  • Brian H. Rowe
  • Carlos A. CamargoJr.

DOI: 10.1007/s11136-008-9437-z

Cite this article as:
Tsai, CL., Rowe, B.H. & Camargo, C.A. Qual Life Res (2009) 18: 191. doi:10.1007/s11136-008-9437-z



To determine the factors associated with short-term recovery of health status following chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbation.


In a prospective multicenter cohort study, consecutive emergency department (ED) patients with COPD exacerbation were enrolled. Patients were interviewed and instructed to complete the validated Short Form Chronic Respiratory disease Questionnaire. Follow-up data were collected 2 weeks later, and included the global transition question. The primary outcome was recovery of health status, which was assigned to patients who stated that their COPD was “a little better” or “much better” than at the time of their ED presentation.


Of the 330 patients, 270 [82%; 95% confidence interval (CI), 77–86%] reported recovery of health status following acute exacerbations. Multivariable analysis showed that recovery of health status was associated with having a primary care provider (PCP) [odds ratio (OR), 3.1; 95% CI, 1.5–6.4] and a co-diagnosis of asthma (OR, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.2–3.8). By contrast, frequent exacerbations (two or more exacerbations in the past year) (OR, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.2–0.7) was inversely associated with recovery.


Reducing exacerbation frequency and provision of adequate PCP follow-up after ED visit may help improve the recovery of health status following acute exacerbations of COPD.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseaseEmergency departmentExacerbationHealth statusRecovery

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chu-Lin Tsai
    • 1
    • 2
  • Brian H. Rowe
    • 3
  • Carlos A. CamargoJr.
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Emergency MedicineMassachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of EpidemiologyHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Emergency MedicineUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada