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Proactive integrated care improves quality of life in patients with COPD.

Eur Respir J. 2009 May;33(5):1031-8. Koff PB, Jones RH, Cashman JM, Voelkel NF, Vandivier RW. University of Colorado Hospital, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.

Self-management strategies improve a variety of health-related outcomes for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). These strategies, however, are primarily designed to improve chronic disease management and have not focused on early detection and early treatment of exacerbations. In COPD, the majority of exacerbations go unreported and treatment is frequently delayed, resulting in worsened outcomes. Therefore, a randomised clinical trial was designed to determine whether integration of self-management education with proactive remote disease monitoring would improve health-related outcomes. A total of 40 Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease stage 3 or 4 COPD patients were randomised to receive proactive integrated care (PIC) or usual care (UC) over a 3-month period. The primary and secondary outcomes were change in quality of life, measured by the St George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), and change in healthcare costs. PIC dramatically improved SGRQ by 10.3 units, compared to 0.6 units in the UC group. Healthcare costs declined in the PIC group by US$1,401, compared with an increase of US$1,709 in the UC group, but this was not statistically significant. PIC uncovered nine exacerbations, seven of which were unreported. Therefore, proactive integrated care has the potential to improve outcomes in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients through effects of self-management, as well as early detection and treatment of exacerbations.

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