Validation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) diagnoses in healthcare databases: A systematic review protocol

Joseph M. Rimland, Iosief Abraha, Maria Laura Luchetta, Francesco Cozzolino, Massimiliano Orso, Antonio Cherubini, Giuseppina Dell'Aquila, Carlos Chiatti, Giuseppe Ambrosio, Alessandro Montedori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction Healthcare databases are useful sources to investigate the epidemiology of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), to assess longitudinal outcomes in patients with COPD, and to develop disease management strategies. However, in order to constitute a reliable source for research, healthcare databases need to be validated. The aim of this protocol is to perform the first systematic review of studies reporting the validation of codes related to COPD diagnoses in healthcare databases. Methods and analysis MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science and the Cochrane Library databases will be searched using appropriate search strategies. Studies that evaluated the validity of COPD codes (such as the International Classification of Diseases 9th Revision and 10th Revision system; the Real codes system or the International Classification of Primary Care) in healthcare databases will be included. Inclusion criteria will be: (1) the presence of a reference standard case definition for COPD; (2) the presence of at least one test measure (eg, sensitivity, positive predictive values, etc); and (3) the use of a healthcare database (including administrative claims databases, electronic healthcare databases or COPD registries) as a data source. Pairs of reviewers will independently abstract data using standardised forms and will assess quality using a checklist based on the Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic accuracy (STARD) criteria. This systematic review protocol has been produced in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Protocol (PRISMA-P) 2015 statement. Ethics and dissemination Ethics approval is not required. Results of this study will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication. The results from this systematic review will be used for outcome research on COPD and will serve as a guide to identify appropriate case definitions of COPD, and reference standards, for researchers involved in validating healthcare databases.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere011777
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Administrative database
  • Chronic pulmonary obstructive disease
  • COPD algorithm
  • Electronic Health Record
  • sensitivity and specificity
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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