INTRODUCTION: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive lung disease, usually caused by tobacco smoking, but other important risk factors include exposures to combustion products of biomass fuels and environmental pollution. The introduction of several new (combination) inhaler therapies, increasing uncertainty about the role of inhaled corticosteroids and a rapid proliferation of the literature on management of stable COPD in general, call for novel ways of evidence synthesis in this area. A systematic review and evidence map can provide the basis for shared decision-making tools and help to establish a future research agenda.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This systematic review will follow an umbrella systematic review design (also called overview of reviews). We plan to conduct a comprehensive literature search of Ovid MEDLINE (including epub ahead of print, in process and other non-indexed citations), Ovid Embase, Ovid Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and Scopus from database inception to the present. We will include systematic reviews that assessed the effectiveness of any pharmacological or non-pharmacological intervention on one or more patient-important outcomes and/or lung function in patients with stable COPD. For every intervention/outcome pair, one systematic review will be included. An a priori protocol will guide, which systematic reviews will be chosen, how their credibility will be evaluated, and how the quality of the body of evidence will be rated. Data will be synthesised into an evidence map that will present a matrix that depicts each available treatment for stable COPD with a quantitative estimate on symptoms/outcomes from the patient perspective, along with an indication of the size and certainty in the evidence.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Approval by a research ethics committee is not required since the review will only include published data. The systematic review will be published in a peer-reviewed journal.
PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42018095079.