Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
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Research priorities to address the global burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the next decade

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-06-22, 17:03 authored by Davies Adeloye, Dhiraj Agarwal, Peter J Barnes, Marcel Bonay, Job F van Boven, Jamie Bryant, Gaetano Caramori, David Dockrell, Anthony D'Urzo, Magnus Ekström, Gregory Erhabor, Cristóbal Esteban, Catherine GreeneCatherine Greene, John Hurst, Sanjay Juvekar, Ee Ming Khoo, Fanny W Ko, Brian Lipworth, Jose L López-Campos, Matthew Maddocks, David M Mannino, Fernando J Martinez, Miguel A Martinez-Garcia, Renae J McNamara, Marc Miravitlles, Hilary Pinnock, Alison Pooler, Jennifer K Quint, Peter Schwarz, George M Slavich, Peige Song, Andrew Tai, Henrik Watz, Jadwiga A Wedzicha, Michelle C Williams, Harry Campbell, Aziz Sheikh, Igor Rudan

Background: The global prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has increased markedly in recent decades. Given the scarcity of resources available to address global health challenges and respiratory medicine being relatively under-invested in, it is important to define research priorities for COPD globally. In this paper, we aim to identify a ranked set of COPD research priorities that need to be addressed in the next 10 years to substantially reduce the global impact of COPD.

Methods: We adapted the Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative (CHNRI) methodology to identify global COPD research priorities.

Results: 62 experts contributed 230 research ideas, which were scored by 34 researchers according to six pre-defined criteria: answerability, effectiveness, feasibility, deliverability, burden reduction, and equity. The top-ranked research priority was the need for new effective strategies to support smoking cessation. Of the top 20 overall research priorities, six were focused on feasible and cost-effective pulmonary rehabilitation delivery and access, particularly in primary/community care and low-resource settings. Three of the top 10 overall priorities called for research on improved screening and accurate diagnostic methods for COPD in low-resource primary care settings. Further ideas that drew support involved a better understanding of risk factors for COPD, development of effective training programmes for health workers and physicians in low resource settings, and evaluation of novel interventions to encourage physical activity.

Conclusions: The experts agreed that the most pressing feasible research questions to address in the next decade for COPD reduction were on prevention, diagnosis and rehabilitation of COPD, especially in low resource settings. The largest gains should be expected in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) settings, as the large majority of COPD deaths occur in those settings. Research priorities identified by this systematic international process should inform and motivate policymakers, funders, and researchers to support and conduct research to reduce the global burden of COPD.


National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Health Data Research UK



The original article is available at

Published Citation

Adeloye D. et al. Research priorities to address the global burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the next decade. J Glob Health. 2021;11:15003

Publication Date

9 October 2021

PubMed ID



  • Beaumont Hospital
  • Medicine

Research Area

  • Respiratory Medicine
  • Immunity, Infection and Inflammation
  • Biomaterials and Regenerative Medicine


International Global Health Society


  • Published Version (Version of Record)