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Efficacy of a self-management plan in exacerbations for patients with advanced COPD

Authors Sánchez-Nieto JM, Andújar-Espinosa R, Bernabeu-Mora R, Hu C, Gálvez-Martínez B, Carrillo-Alcaraz A, Álvarez-Miranda CF, Meca-Birlanga O, Abad-Corpa E

Received 21 January 2016

Accepted for publication 8 May 2016

Published 17 August 2016 Volume 2016:11(1) Pages 1939—1947

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S104728

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Charles Downs

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell


Juan Miguel Sánchez-Nieto,1,2 Rubén Andújar-Espinosa,3 Roberto Bernabeu-Mora,1,2 Chunshao Hu,1 Beatriz Gálvez-Martínez,1 Andrés Carrillo-Alcaraz,1 Carlos Federico Álvarez-Miranda,3 Olga Meca-Birlanga,1 Eva Abad-Corpa4

1Division of Pneumology, Hospital Morales Meseguer, 2University of Murcia, 3Division of Pneumology, Hospital Arrixaca, Murcia, 4Department of Professional Development Unit, Murcia, Spain


Background: Self-management interventions improve different outcome variables in various chronic diseases. Their role in COPD has not been clearly established. We assessed the efficacy of an intervention called the self-management program on the need for hospital care due to disease exacerbation in patients with advanced COPD.
Methods: Multicenter, randomized study in two hospitals with follow-up of 1 year. All the patients had severe or very severe COPD, and had gone to either an accident and emergency (A&E) department or had been admitted to a hospital at least once in the previous year due to exacerbation of COPD. The intervention consisted of a group education session on the main characteristics of the disease, an individual training session on inhalation techniques, at the start and during the 3rd month, and a written action plan containing instructions for physical activity and treatment for stable phases and exacerbations. We determined the combined number of COPD-related hospitalizations and emergency visits per patient per year. Secondary endpoints were number of patients with visits to A&E and the number of patients hospitalized because of exacerbations, use of antibiotics and corticosteroids, length of hospital stay, and all-cause mortality.
Results: After 1 year, the rate of COPD exacerbations with visits to A&E or hospitalization had decreased from 1.37 to 0.89 (P=0.04) and the number of exacerbations dropped from 52 to 42 in the group of patients who received the intervention. The numbers of patients hospitalized, at 19 (40.4%) versus 20 (52.6%) (P=0.26), and those who went to A&E, at 9 (19.1%) versus 14 (36.8%) (P=0.06), due to exacerbation of COPD were also lower in this group. Intake of antibiotics was higher in the intervention group, whereas use of glucocorticoids was slightly lower, though there were no significant differences (P=0.30). There were also no differences between groups in the length of hospital stay (P=0.154) or overall mortality (P=0.191).
Conclusion: The implementation of a self-management program for patients with advanced COPD reduced exacerbations that required hospital care.

Keywords: self-management, COPD, severe exacerbations

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