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      Determinants of activation for self-management in patients with COPD

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          COPD self-management is a complex behavior influenced by many factors. Despite scientific evidence that better disease outcomes can be achieved by enhancing self-management, many COPD patients do not respond to self-management interventions. To move toward more effective self-management interventions, knowledge of characteristics associated with activation for self-management is needed. The purpose of this study was to identify key patient and disease characteristics of activation for self-management.


          An explorative cross-sectional study was conducted in primary and secondary care in patients with COPD. Data were collected through questionnaires and chart reviews. The main outcome was activation for self-management, measured with the 13-item Patient Activation Measure (PAM). Independent variables were sociodemographic variables, self-reported health status, depression, anxiety, illness perception, social support, disease severity, and comorbidities.


          A total of 290 participants (age: 67.2±10.3; forced expiratory volume in 1 second predicted: 63.6±19.2) were eligible for analysis. While poor activation for self-management (PAM-1) was observed in 23% of the participants, only 15% was activated for self-management (PAM-4). Multiple linear regression analysis revealed six explanatory determinants of activation for self-management ( P<0.2): anxiety (β: −0.35; −0.6 to −0.1), illness perception (β: −0.2; −0.3 to −0.1), body mass index (BMI) (β: −0.4; −0.7 to −0.2), age (β: −0.1; −0.3 to −0.01), Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease stage (2 vs 1 β: −3.2; −5.8 to −0.5; 3 vs 1 β: −3.4; −7.1 to 0.3), and comorbidities (β: 0.8; −0.2 to 1.8), explaining 17% of the variance.


          This study showed that only a minority of COPD patients is activated for self-management. Although only a limited part of the variance could be explained, anxiety, illness perception, BMI, age, disease severity, and comorbidities were identified as key determinants of activation for self-management. This knowledge enables health care professionals to identify patients at risk of inadequate self-management, which is essential to move toward targeting and tailoring of self-management interventions. Future studies are needed to understand the complex causal mechanisms toward change in self-management.

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          Development and testing of a short form of the patient activation measure.

          The Patient Activation Measure (PAM) is a 22-item measure that assesses patient knowledge, skill, and confidence for self-management. The measure was developed using Rasch analyses and is an interval level, unidimensional, Guttman-like measure. The current analysis is aimed at reducing the number of items in the measure while maintaining adequate precision. We relied on an iterative use of Rasch analysis to identify items that could be eliminated without loss of significant precision and reliability. With each item deletion, the item scale locations were recalibrated and the person reliability evaluated to check if and how much of a decline in precision of measurement resulted from the deletion of the item. The data used in the analysis were the same data used in the development of the original 22-item measure. These data were collected in 2003 via a telephone survey of 1,515 randomly selected adults. Principal Findings. The analysis yielded a 13-item measure that has psychometric properties similar to the original 22-item version. The scores for the 13-item measure range in value from 38.6 to 53.0 (on a theoretical 0-100 point scale). The range of values is essentially unchanged from the original 22-item version. Subgroup analysis suggests that there is a slight loss of precision with some subgroups. The results of the analysis indicate that the shortened 13-item version is both reliable and valid.
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            Do increases in patient activation result in improved self-management behaviors?

            The purpose of this study is to determine whether patient activation is a changing or changeable characteristic and to assess whether changes in activation also are accompanied by changes in health behavior. To obtain variability in activation and self-management behavior, a controlled trial with chronic disease patients randomized into either intervention or control conditions was employed. In addition, changes in activation that occurred in the total sample were also examined for the study period. Using Mplus growth models, activation latent growth classes were identified and used in the analysis to predict changes in health behaviors and health outcomes. Survey data from the 479 participants were collected at baseline, 6 weeks, and 6 months. Positive change in activation is related to positive change in a variety of self-management behaviors. This is true even when the behavior in question is not being performed at baseline. When the behavior is already being performed at baseline, an increase in activation is related to maintaining a relatively high level of the behavior over time. The impact of the intervention, however, was less clear, as the increase in activation in the intervention group was matched by nearly equal increases in the control group. Results suggest that if activation is increased, a variety of improved behaviors will follow. The question still remains, however, as to what interventions will improve activation.
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              Reduction of hospital utilization in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a disease-specific self-management intervention.

              Self-management interventions improve various outcomes for many chronic diseases. The definite place of self-management in the care of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has not been established. We evaluated the effect of a continuum of self-management, specific to COPD, on the use of hospital services and health status among patients with moderate to severe disease. A multicenter, randomized clinical trial was carried out in 7 hospitals from February 1998 to July 1999. All patients had advanced COPD with at least 1 hospitalization for exacerbation in the previous year. Patients were assigned to a self-management program or to usual care. The intervention consisted of a comprehensive patient education program administered through weekly visits by trained health professionals over a 2-month period with monthly telephone follow-up. Over 12 months, data were collected regarding the primary outcome and number of hospitalizations; secondary outcomes included emergency visits and patient health status. Hospital admissions for exacerbation of COPD were reduced by 39.8% in the intervention group compared with the usual care group (P =.01), and admissions for other health problems were reduced by 57.1% (P =.01). Emergency department visits were reduced by 41.0% (P =.02) and unscheduled physician visits by 58.9% (P =.003). Greater improvements in the impact subscale and total quality-of-life scores were observed in the intervention group at 4 months, although some of the benefits were maintained only for the impact score at 12 months. A continuum of self-management for COPD patients provided by a trained health professional can significantly reduce the utilization of health care services and improve health status. This approach of care can be implemented within normal practice.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                01 August 2016
                : 11
                : 1757-1766
                [1 ]Research Group Chronic Illnesses, Faculty of Health Care, University of Applied Sciences Utrecht
                [2 ]Department of Rehabilitation, Nursing Science & Sports, University Medical Center Utrecht
                [3 ]Department of Respiratory Medicine, Division of Heart & Lungs, University Medical Center Utrecht
                [4 ]Nursing Science, Program in Clinical Health Science, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands
                Author notes
                Correspondence: YJG Korpershoek, Faculty of Health Care, University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, Heidelberglaan 7, 3584 CS, Utrecht, PO box 12011-3501 AA Utrecht, the Netherlands, Tel +31 63 876 3949, Email yvonne.korpershoek@
                © 2016 Korpershoek et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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