Value of systematic intervention for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in a regional Japanese city based on case detection rate and medical cost
Authors Tawara Y, Senjyu H, Tanaka K, Tanaka T, Asai M, Kozu R, Tabusadani M, Honda S, Sawai T
Received 14 February 2015
Accepted for publication 2 May 2015
Published 3 August 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 1531—1542
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewer comments 4
Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell
Yuichi Tawara,1 Hideaki Senjyu,1 Kenichiro Tanaka,1 Takako Tanaka,1 Masaharu Asai,1 Ryo Kozu,2 Mitsuru Tabusadani,3 Sumihisa Honda,1 Terumitsu Sawai1
1Department of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Science, Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Nagasaki, Japan; 2Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Nagasaki University Hospital, Nagasaki, Japan; 3Center for Industry, University and Government Cooperation, Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, Japan
Objective: We established a COPD taskforce for early detection, diagnosis, treatment, and intervention. We implemented a pilot intervention with a prospective and longitudinal design in a regional city. This study evaluates the usefulness of the COPD taskforce and intervention based on COPD case detection rate and per capita medical costs.
Method: We distributed a questionnaire to all 8,878 inhabitants aged 50–89 years, resident in Matsuura, Nagasaki Prefecture in 2006. Potentially COPD-positive persons received a pulmonary function test and diagnosis. We implemented ongoing detection, examination, education, and treatment interventions, performed follow-up examinations or respiratory lessons yearly, and supported the health maintenance of each patient. We compared COPD medical costs in Matsuura and in the rest of Nagasaki Prefecture using data from 2004 to 2013 recorded by the association of Nagasaki National Health Insurance Organization, assessing 10-year means and annual change.
Results: As of 2014, 256 people have received a definitive diagnosis of COPD; representing 31% of the estimated total number of COPD patients. Of the cases detected, 87.5% were mild or moderate in severity. COPD medical costs per patient in Matsuura were significantly lower than the rest of Nagasaki Prefecture, as was rate of increase in cost over time.
Conclusion: The COPD program in Matsuura enabled early detection and treatment of COPD patients and helped to lower the associated burden of medical costs. The success of this program suggests that a similar program could reduce the economic and human costs of COPD morbidity throughout Japan.
Keywords: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, systematic intervention, case detection rate, medical cost, longitudinal study