Self-reported COPD medication use and adherence in the COPD foundation patient-powered research network

Cara B. Pasquale, Radmila Choate, Gretchen McCreary, Richard A. Mularski, William Clark, Mary Ellen Houlihan, Elisha Malanga, Barbara P. Yawn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: Pharmacotherapy is one cornerstone of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) management. Published U.S. data seldom includes patient-reported COPD medication use and adherence. We add this patient perspective to the commonly reported administrative prescribing and fill data. Methods: This survey study used inhaler and nebulizer pictures and lists of oral COPD medications to query members of the COPD Foundation Patient-Powered Research Network, a national, self-reported online registry. Medications used, adherence, inhaler education, cost concerns, previous exacerbations, and COPD Assessment Test scores were assessed and summarized using simple descriptive statistics and hazard ratios controlling for age, gender, and disease burden. Results: Respondents mean age was 68 years, 60% were women, >69% had COPD Assessment Test (CAT) scores >15, and >50% reported 2 or more exacerbations in the past 12 months. Overall, >98% used 1 or more inhaled COPD medications, 7.6% used a rescue inhaler only, 17.8% used long-acting bronchodilator only therapy (11.1% dual), and 72.8% used corticosteroid therapies, including 53% who were on triple therapy. Nebulizers were used by 59.4% and 34.8% used oral COPD medications. Reported adherence rates were high (80.1%), but 41% reported trouble paying for medications, with 20.1% reporting missing medications due to cost. Conclusions: In this population, COPD had a high burden with >50% of respondents using triple therapy, and 1 in 8 using maintenance oral corticosteroids. Self-reported adherence was high, but with significant cost concerns reported, resulting in missed medications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)474-487
Number of pages14
JournalChronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 COPD Foundation. All rights reserved.


  • COPD
  • Inhalers
  • Medications
  • Nebulizers
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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