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Respir Med. 2011 Mar;105(3):377-85. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2010.10.002. Epub 2010 Oct 29.

Cost-saving effect of supervised exercise associated to COPD self-management education program.

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  • 1University Montpellier 1, Laboratory Epsylon, EA-4206 Addictive, Performance and Health Behaviors, 4 Boulevard Henri IV, Montpellier F-34000, France. gregory.ninot@univ-montp1.fr



Although the benefits of comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation have been demonstrated in patients with COPD, the effects of exercise sessions within self-management programs remain unclear. We hypothesized that 8 supervised exercise sessions incorporated in a 1-month self-management education program in COPD patients would be effective to improve health outcomes and to reduce direct medical costs after one year, compared to usual care.


In this randomized controlled trial, 38 moderate-to-severe COPD patients were assigned either to an intervention group or to a usual care group. The hospital-based intervention program provided a combination of 8 sessions of supervised exercise with 8 self-management education sessions over a 1-month period. The primary end-point was the 6-min walking distance (6MWD), with secondary outcomes being health-related quality of life (HRQoL)--using the St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) and Nottingham Health Profile (NHP), maximal exercise capacity and healthcare utilization. Data were collected before and one year after the program.


After 12 months, we found statistically significant between-group differences in favor of the intervention group in 6MWD (+50.5 m (95%CI, 2 to 99), in two domains of NHP (energy, -19.8 (-38 to -1); emotional reaction, -10.4 (-20 to 0)); in SGRQ-symptoms (-14.0 (-23 to -5)), and in cost of COPD medication (-480.7 € (CI, -891 to -70) per patient per year).


The present hospital-based intervention combining supervised exercise with self-management education provides significant improvements in patient's exercise tolerance and HRQoL, and significant decrease of COPD medication costs, compared to usual care.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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