COPD Assessment Test

Open COPD Assessment Test for Printing
Open Health Professional User Guide


Impact Level
Very High
Broad clinical picture of the impact of COPD by CAT score
Their condition stops them doing everything they want to do and they never have any good days. If they can manage to take a bath or shower, it takes them a long time. They cannot go out of the house for shopping or recreation, or do their housework. Often, they cannot go far from their bed or chair. They feel as if they have become an invalid.
COPD stops them doing most things that they want to do. They are breathless walking around the home and when getting washed or dressed. They may be breathless when they talk. Their cough makes them tired and their chest symptoms disturb their sleep on most nights. They feel that exercise is not safe for them and everything they do seems too much effort. They are afraid and panic and do not feel in control of their chest problem.
COPD is one of the most important problems that they have. They have a few good days a week, but cough up sputum on most days and have one or two exacerbations a year. They are breathless on most days and usually wake up with chest tightness or wheeze. They get breathless on bending over and can only walk up a fl ight of stairs slowly. They either do their housework slowly or have to stop for rests.
Most days are good, but COPD causes a few problems and stops people doing one or two things that they would like to do. They usually cough several days a week and get breathless when playing sports and games and when carrying heavy loads. They have to slow down or stop when walking up hills or if they hurry when walking on level ground. They get exhausted easily.
Upper limit of normal in healthy non-smokers
Possible management considerations
  • Smoking cessation
  • Annual influenza vaccination
  • Reduce exposure to exacerbation risk factors
  • Therapy as warranted by further clinical assessment.
Patient has room for improvement - optimise management. In addition to the guidance provided for patients with low impact CAT scores consider:
  • Reviewing maintenance therapy - is it optimal?
  • Referral for pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Ensuring best approaches to minimising and managing exacerbations
  • Reviewing aggravating factors - is the patient still smoking?
Patient has significant room for improvement. In addition to the guidance for patients with low and medium impact CAT scores consider:
  • Referral to specialist care (if you are a primary care physician)
Also consider:
  • Additional pharmacological treatments
  • Referral for pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Ensuring best approaches to minimising and managing exacerbations