Does C-Reactive Protein testing for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbations reduce antibiotic use without harm?

BEEM Bottom Line

Why is this study important?

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is common and affects 12.7% of the Canadian adult population.[1] The diagnosis of COPD exacerbations (COPDEs) is based on clinical criteria, which often are subjective. Antibiotics (Abx) are frequently prescribed for patients with COPDEs, but it is unclear if all patients require this treatment as up to 20% of COPDEs are due to non-infectious causes.[2] Abx overuse is associated with adverse effects including the development of antimicrobial resistance. Objective tests to guide Abx prescribing would be helpful in reducing unnecessary Abx use in this population.

Which, if any, threats to validity are most likely to have an impact on the results and how?

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