Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment for people with both COPD and frailty starting pulmonary rehabilitation: a mixed-methods feasibility trial

Lisa Jane Brighton, Catherine J. Evans, Morag Farquhar, Katherine Bristowe, Aleksandra Kata, Jade Higman, Margaret Ogden, Claire Nolan, Deokhee Yi, Wei Gao, Maria Koulopoulou, Sharmeen Hasan, Karen Ingram, Stuart Clarke, Kishan Parmar, Eleni Baldwin, Claire J. Steves, William D.-C. Man, Matthew Maddocks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rationale: Many people with COPD experience frailty. Frailty increases risk of poor health outcomes, including non-completion of pulmonary rehabilitation. Integrated approaches to support people with COPD and frailty throughout and following rehabilitation are indicated.

Aim: To determine the feasibility of conducting a randomised controlled trial of integrating comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) for people with COPD and frailty starting pulmonary rehabilitation.

Methods: Multicentre mixed-methods randomised controlled feasibility trial (“Breathe Plus”; ISRCTN13051922). People with COPD, aged ≥50, Clinical Frailty Scale ≥5, and referred for pulmonary rehabilitation were randomised 1:1 to usual pulmonary rehabilitation, or pulmonary rehabilitation plus CGA. Remote intervention delivery was used during Covid-19 restrictions. Outcomes (physical, psycho-social, service use) were measured at baseline, 90 and 180 days, alongside process data and qualitative interviews.

Results: Recruitment stopped at 31 participants (mean age 72.4 [sd 10.1], 68% MRC 4–5), due to Covid-19-related disruptions. Recruitment (46% eligible recruited) and retention (87% at 90- and 180-day follow-up) were acceptable. CGAs occurred on average 60.5 days post-randomisation (range 8–129) and prompted 46 individual care recommendations (median 3 per participant, range 0–12); 65% of which were implemented during follow-up. The most common domains addressed during CGA were nutrition and cardiovascular health. Participants valued the holistic approach of CGA but questioned the optimal time to introduce it.

Conclusion: Integrating CGA alongside pulmonary rehabilitation is feasible and identifies unmet multidimensional need in people with COPD and frailty. Given challenges around timing and inclusivity, the integration of geriatric and respiratory care should not be limited to rehabilitation services.
Original languageEnglish
JournalERJ Open Research
Early online date9 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 May 2024

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