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      Impact of Oscillating Positive Expiratory Pressure Device Use on Post-Discharge Hospitalizations: A Retrospective Cohort Study Comparing Patients with COPD or Chronic Bronchitis Using the Aerobika ® and Acapella ® Devices

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          Managing and preventing disease exacerbations are key goals of COPD care. Oscillating positive expiratory pressure (OPEP) devices have been shown to improve clinical outcomes when added to COPD standard of care. This retrospective database study compared real-world resource use and disease exacerbation among patients with COPD or chronic bronchitis prescribed either of two commonly used OPEP devices.

          Patients and methods

          Patients using the Aerobika ® (Trudell Medical International, London, ON, Canada) or Acapella ® (Smiths Medical, Wampsville, New York, USA) OPEP device for COPD or chronic bronchitis were identified from hospital claims linked to medical and prescription claims between September 2013 and April 2018; the index date was the first hospital visit with an OPEP device. Severe disease exacerbation, defined as an inpatient visit with a COPD or chronic bronchitis diagnosis, and all-cause healthcare resource utilization over 30 days and 12 months post-discharge were compared in propensity score (PS)-matched Aerobika device and Acapella device users.


          In total, 619 Aerobika device and 1857 Acapella device users remained after PS matching. After discharge from the index visit, Aerobika device users were less likely to have ≥1 severe exacerbation within 30 days (12.0% vs 17.4%, p=0.01) and/or 12 months (39.6% vs 45.3%, p=0.01) and had fewer 12-month severe exacerbations (mean, 0.7 vs 0.9 per patient per year, p=0.01), with significantly longer time to first severe exacerbation than Acapella users (log-rank p=0.01). Aerobika device users were also less likely to have ≥1 all-cause inpatient visit within 30 days (13.9% vs 20.3%, p<0.001) and 12 months (44.9% vs 51.8%, p=0.003) than Acapella users.


          Patients receiving the Aerobika OPEP device, compared to the Acapella device, had lower rates of subsequent severe disease exacerbation and all-cause inpatient admission. This suggests that Aerobika OPEP device may be a beneficial add-on to usual care and that OPEP devices may vary in clinical effectiveness.

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          Most cited references 33

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          Chronic bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

          Chronic bronchitis (CB) is a common but variable phenomenon in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It has numerous clinical consequences, including an accelerated decline in lung function, greater risk of the development of airflow obstruction in smokers, a predisposition to lower respiratory tract infection, higher exacerbation frequency, and worse overall mortality. CB is caused by overproduction and hypersecretion of mucus by goblet cells, which leads to worsening airflow obstruction by luminal obstruction of small airways, epithelial remodeling, and alteration of airway surface tension predisposing to collapse. Despite its clinical sequelae, little is known about the pathophysiology of CB and goblet cell hyperplasia in COPD, and treatment options are limited. In addition, it is becoming increasingly apparent that in the classic COPD spectrum, with emphysema on one end and CB on the other, most patients lie somewhere in the middle. It is known now that many patients with severe emphysema can develop CB, and small airway pathology has been linked to worse clinical outcomes, such as increased mortality and lesser improvement in lung function after lung volume reduction surgery. However, in recent years, a greater understanding of the importance of CB as a phenotype to identify patients with a beneficial response to therapy has been described. Herein we review the epidemiology of CB, the evidence behind its clinical consequences, the current understanding of the pathophysiology of goblet cell hyperplasia in COPD, and current therapies for CB.
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            Good research practices for comparative effectiveness research: analytic methods to improve causal inference from nonrandomized studies of treatment effects using secondary data sources: the ISPOR Good Research Practices for Retrospective Database Analysis Task Force Report--Part III.

            Most contemporary epidemiologic studies require complex analytical methods to adjust for bias and confounding. New methods are constantly being developed, and older more established methods are yet appropriate. Careful application of statistical analysis techniques can improve causal inference of comparative treatment effects from nonrandomized studies using secondary databases. A Task Force was formed to offer a review of the more recent developments in statistical control of confounding. The Task Force was commissioned and a chair was selected by the ISPOR Board of Directors in October 2007. This Report, the third in this issue of the journal, addressed methods to improve causal inference of treatment effects for nonrandomized studies. The Task Force Report recommends general analytic techniques and specific best practices where consensus is reached including: use of stratification analysis before multivariable modeling, multivariable regression including model performance and diagnostic testing, propensity scoring, instrumental variable, and structural modeling techniques including marginal structural models, where appropriate for secondary data. Sensitivity analyses and discussion of extent of residual confounding are discussed. Valid findings of causal therapeutic benefits can be produced from nonrandomized studies using an array of state-of-the-art analytic techniques. Improving the quality and uniformity of these studies will improve the value to patients, physicians, and policymakers worldwide.
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              Susceptibility to exacerbation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

              Although we know that exacerbations are key events in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), our understanding of their frequency, determinants, and effects is incomplete. In a large observational cohort, we tested the hypothesis that there is a frequent-exacerbation phenotype of COPD that is independent of disease severity. We analyzed the frequency and associations of exacerbation in 2138 patients enrolled in the Evaluation of COPD Longitudinally to Identify Predictive Surrogate Endpoints (ECLIPSE) study. Exacerbations were defined as events that led a care provider to prescribe antibiotics or corticosteroids (or both) or that led to hospitalization (severe exacerbations). Exacerbation frequency was observed over a period of 3 years. Exacerbations became more frequent (and more severe) as the severity of COPD increased; exacerbation rates in the first year of follow-up were 0.85 per person for patients with stage 2 COPD (with stage defined in accordance with Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease [GOLD] stages), 1.34 for patients with stage 3, and 2.00 for patients with stage 4. Overall, 22% of patients with stage 2 disease, 33% with stage 3, and 47% with stage 4 had frequent exacerbations (two or more in the first year of follow-up). The single best predictor of exacerbations, across all GOLD stages, was a history of exacerbations. The frequent-exacerbation phenotype appeared to be relatively stable over a period of 3 years and could be predicted on the basis of the patient's recall of previous treated events. In addition to its association with more severe disease and prior exacerbations, the phenotype was independently associated with a history of gastroesophageal reflux or heartburn, poorer quality of life, and elevated white-cell count. Although exacerbations become more frequent and more severe as COPD progresses, the rate at which they occur appears to reflect an independent susceptibility phenotype. This has implications for the targeting of exacerbation-prevention strategies across the spectrum of disease severity. (Funded by GlaxoSmithKline; number, NCT00292552.)

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                19 October 2020
                : 15
                : 2527-2538
                [1 ]IQVIA, Medical and Scientific Services, Real World Solutions , Cambridge, MA, USA
                [2 ]Monaghan Medical Corporation, Clinical Strategy and Development , Plattsburgh, NY, USA
                [3 ]Trudell Medical International, Science and Technology , London, ON, Canada
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Jenny Tse IQVIA , 201 Broadway, 5th Fl, Cambridge, MA02139, USATel +1 617-583-0627 Email
                © 2020 Tse 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. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms (

                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 15, References: 38, Pages: 12
                Funded by: Monaghan Medical Corporation;
                Funded by: Trudell Medical International;
                This study was funded by Monaghan Medical Corporation and Trudell Medical International.
                Original Research

                Respiratory medicine

                database, exacerbations, re-hospitalization, sputum clearance, opep


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