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Respirology. 2016 Apr;21(3):497-503. doi: 10.1111/resp.12697. Epub 2015 Dec 9.

(Cost-)effectiveness of self-treatment of exacerbations in patients with COPD: 2 years follow-up of a RCT.

Author information

1
Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Medisch Spectrum Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands.
2
Department of Pulmonology, University of Groningen, and University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.
3
Department of Research Methodology, Measurement and Data Analysis, University Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands.
4
Department for Health Evidence, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
5
Southern Adelaide Local Health Network, Respiratory Research Unit, Repatriation General Hospital, Daw Park, South Australia, Australia.
6
School of Medicine, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE:

Long-term effectiveness of action plans in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is minimally investigated. We have evaluated the (cost-)effectiveness of a self-management programme with or without self-treatment of exacerbations after 2 years follow-up.

METHODS:

Self-management with or without self-treatment of exacerbations was randomly assigned to patients. All patients participated in four self-management meetings. Patients in the self-treatment group (STG) also learned to use an action plan to start a course of prednisolone and/or antibiotics in case of worsening of symptoms. Primary outcome was the duration and severity of exacerbations.

RESULTS:

Data of 70 COPD patients in the STG and 72 patients in the control group (CG) were analysed. Over 2 years, the median number of exacerbation days was significantly lower in the STG (50, IQR: 32-115) compared with the CG (82, IQR: 22-186) (P = 0.047), as was the mean symptom score of an exacerbation (STG: 43.4, IQR 27.2-68.6 vs CG: 55.9, IQR: 31.2-96.8) (P = 0.029). Also, patients in the STG visited the respiratory physician and emergency department less frequently than patients in the CG with incidence rate ratios of 1.52 (95% CI: 1.28-1.79) and 2.27 (95% CI: 1.11-4.62), respectively. Direct medical costs per patient over 2 years were €1078 lower in the STG.

CONCLUSION:

Self-treatment of exacerbations is beneficial in COPD patients without significant comorbidities because it reduces exacerbation duration, exacerbation severity and health-care utilization leading to considerable cost savings.

KEYWORDS:

chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; cost-effectiveness; exacerbation; quality of life; self-management

PMID:
26647766
DOI:
10.1111/resp.12697
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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