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

Marlies Zwerink*, Huib A. M. Kerstjens, Job van der Palen, Paul van der Valk, Marjolein Brusse-Keizer, Gerhard Zielhuis, Tanja Effing

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background and objectiveLong-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.

MethodsSelf-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.

ResultsData 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 Euro1078 lower in the STG.

ConclusionSelf-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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-503
Number of pages7
JournalRespirology
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2016

Keywords

  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • cost-effectiveness
  • exacerbation
  • quality of life
  • self-management
  • OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY-DISEASE
  • RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED-TRIAL
  • QUALITY-OF-LIFE
  • MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
  • THERAPY
  • SUPPORT

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