Early management of COPD: where are we now and where do we go from here? A Delphi consensus project

Fabiano Di Marco, Piero Balbo, Francesco de Blasio, Vittorio Cardaci, Nunzio Crimi, Giuseppe Girbino, Girolamo Pelaia, Pietro Pirina, Pietro Roversi, Pierachille Santus, Nicola Scichilone, Alessandro Vatrella, Patrizio Pasqualetti, Mauro Carone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: There is a lack of consensus on the most appropriate early diagnostic strategy, criteria for early access to treatment and follow-up approach for patients with COPD.Materials and methods: A Delphi consensus project investigated the early management of COPD. We formulated two questionnaires for completion by pneumologists in Italy.Results: A total of 207 specialists completed questionnaire 1 and 184 of them questionnaire 2, between November 2016 and October 2017. Early diagnosis of COPD was considered uncommon for 93.2% of the expert panel. Regardless of the definition of "early diagnosis" - a diagnosis made before the clinical manifestation of the disease for most responders (60.4%) - experts were confident of the positive effects of early disease management, which they consider is effective in modifying the natural history of the disease. Lack of awareness of the disease was considered the first limiting factor to early COPD management for 78% of respondents. The most effective steps to reduce functional decline were considered to be smoking cessation, followed by long-acting β2-agonist (LABA)/long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA), LAMA, LABA, and finally inhaled corticosteroid/LABA (P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-360
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of COPD
Publication statusPublished - Feb 23 2019


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones/administration & dosage
  • Adrenergic beta-2 Receptor Agonists/administration & dosage
  • Adult
  • Bronchodilator Agents/administration & dosage
  • Consensus
  • Delphi Technique
  • Drug Combinations
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Early Medical Intervention/standards
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscarinic Antagonists/administration & dosage
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic/standards
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/diagnosis
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome


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