The research projects within the collaboration are under 3 main themes, and are based on priorities identified by patients, clinicians and policy makers in each partner country:
Theme one: Case finding for undiagnosed COPD
Aim: To evaluate the accuracy of different screening strategies for identifying undiagnosed COPD and inform future case-finding strategies.
Currently two studies are planned within primary care settings in Brazil and China. The studies are expected to start around June 2018, with results likely to be available by 2020.
Theme two: Promotion of smoking cessation in the community
Smoking is a main contributor to COPD and smoking rates remain high in many LMIC. Smoking cessation has numerous health benefits, and is the main strategy for improving the health of people with COPD.
Aim: To evaluate different motivational approaches to assist smoking cessation among smokers identified through primary care settings.
Currently, a randomised controlled trial is planned to evaluate feedback on lung age and on exhaled CO to smokers identified in primary care in Republic of North Macedonia. The trial is expected to start in September 2018, and results should be available by 2020.
Theme three: Behavioural interventions to improve disease management
Within low resource settings, availability of pharmacotherapy is limited. Behavioural interventions are a low cost, effective alternative, shown to be effective in improving the outcome with people with COPD in high income settings.
Aim: to assess the feasibility and evaluate an adapted pulmonary rehabilitation programme for people with COPD identified through primary care settings.
Currently an adaptation and programme development, with a feasibility study are planned in Georgia, which may progress to a full trial later on. The programme development is expected to start in June 2018, with the feasibility study commencing in September 2018. Results of this study are likely to be available by 2020.