Development and Validity Assessment of a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Knowledge Questionnaire in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Nicole M Robertson, Trishul Siddharthan, Suzanne L Pollard, Patricia Alupo, Oscar Flores-Flores, Natalie A Rykiel, Elisa D Romani, Ivonne Ascencio-Días, Bruce Kirenga, William Checkley, John R Hurst, Shumonta Quaderi
Annals of the American Thoracic Society 2021 January 21

RATIONALE: The majority of the morbidity and mortality related to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) occurs in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Despite the increasing burden of COPD, disease-specific knowledge among healthcare workers (HCWs) and patients in LMICs remains limited. COPD knowledge questionnaires are valid and reliable tools to assess COPD knowledge and can be employed in settings with limited health literacy.

OBJECTIVE: To develop and assess validity and reliability of a COPD knowledge questionnaire among individuals with COPD in three LMIC settings.

METHODS: Twelve questions were generated by an expert team of sixteen researchers, physicians, and public health professionals to create an LMIC-specific COPD knowledge questionnaire. Content was based on previous instruments, clinical guidelines, focus group discussions, and questionnaire piloting. Participants with COPD completed the questionnaire across three diverse LMIC settings before and three months after delivery of a standardized COPD specific education package by a local community health worker (CHW) trained to deliver the education to an appropriate standard. We utilized paired t-tests to assess improvement in knowledge post-intervention.

RESULTS: Questionnaire development initially yielded 52 items. Based on community feedback and expertise, items were eliminated and added yielding a final 12-item questionnaire, with a maximum total score of 12. A total of 196 participants with COPD were included this study in Nepal (n=86), Peru (n=35) and Uganda (n=75). Mean (± SD) baseline score was 8.0 ± 2.5 and 3-months post-education the mean score was 10.2 ± 1.7 among participants. The CHW-led COPD educational intervention improved COPD knowledge among community members by 2.2 points (95% CI 1.8 to 2.6, t=10.9, p<0.001). Internal consistency using Cronbach's alpha was 0.75.

CONCLUSION: The LMIC COPD-KQ demonstrates face and content validity and acceptable internal consistency through development phases, suggesting a reliable and valid COPD education instrument that can be utilized to assess educational interventions across LMIC settings. Clinical trial registered with (NCT03365713).

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