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# Do telemedical interventions improve quality of life in patients with COPD? A systematic review

Dove Medical Press

COPD, telehealth care, quality of life, review, telemedicine

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### Abstract

##### Objective

Telehealth is an approach to disease management, which may hold the potential of improving some of the features associated with COPD, including positive impact on disease progression, and thus possibly limiting further reduction in quality of life (QoL). Our objective was, therefore, to summarize studies addressing the impact of telehealth on QoL in patients with COPD.

##### Design

Systematic review.

##### Methods

A series of systematic searches were carried out using the following databases: PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, and ClinicalTrials.gov (last updated November 2015). A predefined search algorithm was utilized with the intention to capture all results related to COPD, QoL, and telehealth published since year 2000.

##### Outcome measures

Primary outcome was QoL, assessed by validated measures.

##### Results

Out of the 18 studies fulfilling the criteria for inclusion in this review, three studies found statistically significant improvements in QoL for patients allocated to telemedical interventions. However, all of the other included studies found no statistically significant differences between control and telemedical intervention groups in terms of QoL.

##### Conclusion

Telehealth does not make a strong case for itself when exclusively looking at QoL as an outcome, since statistically significant improvements relative to control groups have been observed only in few of the available studies. Nonetheless, this does not only rule out the possibility that telehealth is superior to standard care with regard to other outcomes but also seems to call for more research, not least in large-scale controlled trials.

### Most cited references20

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### Risk factors for rehospitalisation in COPD: role of health status, anxiety and depression.

(2005)
The aim of the present study was to analyse the risk of rehospitalisation in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and associated risk factors. This prospective study included 416 patients from a university hospital in each of the five Nordic countries. Data included demographic information, spirometry, comorbidity and 12 month follow-up for 406 patients. The hospital anxiety and depression scale and St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) were applied to all patients. The number of patients that had a re-admission within 12 months was 246 (60.6%). Patients that had a re-admission had lower lung function and health status. A low forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and health status were independent predictors for re-admission. Hazard ratio (HR; 95% CI) was 0.82 (0.74-0.90) per 10% increase of the predicted FEV1 and 1.06 (1.02-1.10) per 4 units increase in total SGRQ score. The risk of rehospitalisation was also increased in subjects with anxiety (HR 1.76 (1.16-2.68)) and in subjects with low health status (total SGRQ score >60 units). When comparing the different subscales in the SGRQ, the closest relation between the risk of rehospitalisation was seen with the activity scale (HR 1.07 (1.03-1.11) per 4 unit increase). In patients with low health status, anxiety is an important risk factor for rehospitalisation. This may be important for patient treatment and warrants further studies.
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### Telehealthcare for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Cochrane Review and meta-analysis.

(2012)
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is common. Telehealthcare, involving personalised health care over a distance, is seen as having the potential to improve care for people with COPD. To systematically review the effectiveness of telehealthcare interventions in COPD to improve clinical and process outcomes. Cochrane Systematic Review of randomised controlled trials. The study involved searching the Cochrane Airways Group Register of Trials, which is derived from the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE, embase, and CINAHL, as well as searching registers of ongoing and unpublished trials. Randomised controlled trials comparing a telehealthcare intervention with a control intervention in people with a clinical diagnosis of COPD were identified. The main outcomes of interest were quality of life and risk of emergency department visit, hospitalisation, and death. Two authors independently selected trials for inclusion and extracted data. Study quality was assessed using the Cochrane Collaboration's risk of bias method. Meta-analysis was undertaken using fixed effect and/or random effects modelling. Ten randomised controlled trials were included. Telehealthcare did not improve COPD quality of life: mean difference -6.57 (95% confidence interval [CI] = -13.62 to 0.48). However, there was a significant reduction in the odds ratios (ORs) of emergency department attendance (OR = 0.27; 95% CI = 0.11 to 0.66) and hospitalisation (OR = 0.46; 95% CI = 0.33 to 0.65). There was a non-significant change in the OR of death (OR = 1.05; 95% CI = 0.63 to 1.75). In COPD, telehealthcare interventions can significantly reduce the risk of emergency department attendance and hospitalisation, but has little effect on the risk of death.
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### Proactive integrated care improves quality of life in patients with COPD.

(2009)
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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### Author and article information

###### Journal
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
1176-9106
1178-2005
2016
21 April 2016
: 11
: 809-822
###### Affiliations
[1 ]Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Hvidovre Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark
[2 ]Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
###### Author notes
Correspondence: Charlotte Suppli Ulrik, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Hvidovre Hospital, Kettegård Alle 30, DK-2650 Hvidovre, Denmark, Email csulrik@ 123456dadlnet.dk
###### Article
copd-11-809
10.2147/COPD.S96079
4846042
27143872
© 2016 Gregersen et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). 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.

###### Categories
Review

Respiratory medicine

copd, telehealth care, quality of life, review, telemedicine