Colour vision deficiency and sputum colour charts in COPD patients: an exploratory mixed-method study.

04 Mar 2021
Respiratory conditions
  • COPD
Type of resource
Peer-reviewed article
Channa S, Gale N, Lai E, Hall L, Quinn M, Turner AM


Sputum colour may mark bacterial involvement in acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, whether colour vision deficiency (CVD) in COPD patients could impact the use of sputum colour charts as part of a guide to antibiotic use in exacerbations is unknown. This study used an exploratory mixed-method approach to establish the likelihood that COPD patients will be colour blind and whether this would result in the sputum colour chart being unusable in the context of the patients' self-management of their condition. CVD is under-reported in primary care and comorbidities in COPD patients increase the risk of acquiring CVD. Participants diagnosed with CVD and risk of acquiring CVD were able to use the sputum colour charts. Colour charts are likely to be usable even in the context of undiagnosed CVD in COPD patients.


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