Objective: To test reliability, validity and responsiveness, and to define minimal important difference (MID), of the D-PPAC and C-PPAC instruments, in a large population of patients with stable COPD from diverse severities, settings and countries.
Methods: We used data from seven randomised controlled trials to evaluate D-PPAC and C-PPAC internal consistency and construct validity by sex, age groups, COPD severity, country and language as well as responsiveness to interventions, ability to detect change and MID.
Results: We included 1324 patients (mean (SD) age 66 (8) years, forced expiratory volume in 1 s 55 (17)% predicted). Scores covered almost the full range from 0 to 100, showed strong internal consistency after stratification and correlated as a priori hypothesised with dyspnoea, health-related quality of life and exercise capacity. Difficulty scores improved after pharmacological treatment and pulmonary rehabilitation, while amount scores improved after behavioural physical activity interventions. All scores were responsive to changes in self-reported physical activity experience (both worsening and improvement) and to the occurrence of COPD exacerbations during follow-up. The MID was estimated to 6 for amount and difficulty scores and 4 for total score.
Conclusions: The D-PPAC and C-PPAC instruments are reliable and valid across diverse COPD populations and responsive to pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions and changes in clinically relevant variables.