Background and objective
: COPD is a chronic illness with frequent episodic exacerbations that require admission to hospital. The aim of this study was to identify risk factors (or predictors) for hospital admission in a sample of rural COPD patients.
Methods: COPD patients from the Goulburn and Crookwell areas of New South Wales, Australia, were included in the study. Patients were divided into two groups: those with two or fewer admissions, and those with three or more admissions in the last year. Patient interviews were conducted, and data were collected on demographics, consumption of health resources, COPD severity measures (BODE score) and quality of life.
Results: There were 32 patients recruited with a median age of 68 years, and 21 (65.6%) were male. There were no significant differences in risk factors (or predictors) identified between the two groups. A statistical difference was found between the two groups, with patients with three or more hospital admissions having a higher BODE score (P = 0.004), poorer quality-of-life score (P = 0.015) and reduced exercise tolerance (P = 0.001).
Conclusions: In this small sample of COPD patients, there were no clear differences in terms of risk factors for COPD admission between the two groups. The BODE score was found to be a useful predictor of disease severity and likelihood of hospital admission.