Aquarius Population Health

Although predominantly preventable and treatable, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading cause of death globally (1). Guidelines for managing the condition are widely available (2), yet, COPD care remains suboptimal in many settings, including high and middle-income countries (3).

Concerted regional or global efforts in COPD care may lead to important synergies in improving outcomes for patients across many healthcare settings. To achieve this, researchers and policymakers must gain a better understanding of the extent to which countries share common barriers.

Aquarius Population Health led a multifaceted project that used published literature and clinical guidelines to map the COPD care pathways in 10 countries: Argentina, Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Spain, and Taiwan. To validate the pathways and understand how clinicians perceive barriers to optimal COPD care, we spoke to 41 healthcare professionals across all these countries. Finally, we combined all the data and compared the pathways, to see how different or similar are barriers to COPD among the studied countries.

The results of this work indicate that regardless of differences in economic development or healthcare systems among countries, many issues in COPD care are quite similar. Further efforts are needed to address these issues at a global level. The poster reporting this work is published at the 11th IPCRG World Conference and can be accessed here.

Shahaj O, Meiwald A, Gara-Adams R et al. Mapping and comparing COPD Care Pathways across 10 countries to understand barriers to optimal care: clinicians’ perspectives.” Presented at: 11th IPCRG World Conference, May 5-7 2022; Virtual

1.           Vos T, Lim SS, Abbafati C, et al. Global burden of 369 diseases and injuries in 204 countries and territories, 1990–2019: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019. The Lancet. 2020 Oct;396(10258):1204–22.

2.           Singh D, Agusti A, Anzueto A, et al. Global Strategy for the Diagnosis, Management, and Prevention of Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease: the GOLD science committee report 2019. Eur Respir J [Internet]. 2019 May 1 [cited 2022 Jan 19];53(5). Available from:

3.           Young M, Villgran V, Ledgerwood C, et al. Developing a Multidisciplinary Approach to the COPD Care Pathway. Crit Care Nurs Q. 2021 Mar;44(1):121–7.

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