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Validation of acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) recording in electronic health records: a systematic review protocol

Publication date: 

27 Feb 2020


BMJ Open. 2020; 10(2): e032467. Published online 2020 Feb 27. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-032467


Stone P, Sood N, Feary J, Roberts CM, Quint JK

Publication type: 



Introduction Many patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) experience a sustained worsening in symptoms termed an acute exacerbation (AECOPD). AECOPDs impact on patients’ quality of life and lung function, are costly to health services and are an important topic for research. Electronic health records (EHR) are increasingly being used to study AECOPD, requiring accurate detection of AECOPD in EHRs to ensure generalisable results. The aim of this protocol is to provide an overview of studies that validate AECOPD definitions used in EHRs and administrative claims databases. Methods and analysis Medline and Embase will be searched for terms related to COPD exacerbation, EHRs and validation. All studies published between 1 January 1990 and 30 September 2019 written in English that validate AECOPD in EHRs and administrative claims databases will be considered. Inclusion criteria: EHR data must be routinely collected; the AECOPD detection algorithm must be compared against a reference standard; and a measure of validity must be calculable. Two independent reviewers will screen articles for inclusion, extract study details and assess risk of bias using QUADAS-2. Disagreements will be resolved by consensus or arbitration by a third reviewer. This protocol has been developed in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Protocols checklist. Ethics and dissemination This will be a review of previously published literature therefore no ethical approval is required. Results from this review will be published in a peer-reviewed journal. The results can be used in future research to identify occurrences of AECOPD.