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      Effectiveness and Economic Evaluation of Hospital-Outreach Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

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          Hospital-outreach pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) can improve health status and reduce health-care utilization by patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, its long-term effects and costs versus benefits are still not clear. This study was conducted to develop, deliver, and evaluate the effects and monetary savings of a hospital-outreach PR program for patients with COPD.


          A randomized controlled trial was conducted. Patients with COPD (n=208) were randomly assigned to the hospital-outreach PR program (treatment) or treatment as usual (control). The treatment group received a 3-month intensive intervention, including supervised physical exercise, smoking cessation, self-management education, and psychosocial support, followed by long-term access to a nurse through telephone follow-up and home visits up to 24 months. The control group received routine care, including discharge education and a self-management education brochure. Main outcomes were collected at 3, 6, 12, and 24 -months postrandomization. Primary outcomes included health-care utilization (ie, readmission rates, times, and days, and emergency department visits) and medical costs. Secondary outcomes included lung function (ie, FEV 1, FEV 1% predicted, FVC), dyspnea (mMCR), exercise capacity (6MWD), impact on quality of life (CAT), and self-management (CSMS).


          At the end of 24 months, 85 (81.7%) in the treatment group and 89 (85.6%) in the control group had completed the whole program. Compared with the control group, patients in the treatment group had lower readmission rates, times, and days at 6 and 12 months and during 12–24 months. Regarding costs during the 2 years, the program achieved CN¥3,655.94 medical  savings per patient per year, and every ¥1 spent on the program led to ¥3.29 insavings. Patients in the treatment group achieved improvements in FEV 1, FEV 1% predicted, exercise capacity, and self-management. It also achieved relief of dyspnea symptoms and improvement in COPD’s impact on quality of life.


          The hospital-outreach PR program for patients with COPD achieved reductions in health-care utilization, monetary savings, and improvements in patient health outcomes. The effects of the program were sustained for at least 2 years.

          Trial Registration

          This trial was registered at the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry (ChiCTR-TRC-14005108).

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          Most cited references 32

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          Diagnosis and management of stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a clinical practice guideline update from the American College of Physicians, American College of Chest Physicians, American Thoracic Society, and European Respiratory Society.

          This guideline is an official statement of the American College of Physicians (ACP), American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), American Thoracic Society (ATS), and European Respiratory Society (ERS). It represents an update of the 2007 ACP clinical practice guideline on diagnosis and management of stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and is intended for clinicians who manage patients with COPD. This guideline addresses the value of history and physical examination for predicting airflow obstruction; the value of spirometry for screening or diagnosis of COPD; and COPD management strategies, specifically evaluation of various inhaled therapies (anticholinergics, long-acting β-agonists, and corticosteroids), pulmonary rehabilitation programs, and supplemental oxygen therapy. This guideline is based on a targeted literature update from March 2007 to December 2009 to evaluate the evidence and update the 2007 ACP clinical practice guideline on diagnosis and management of stable COPD. RECOMMENDATION 1: ACP, ACCP, ATS, and ERS recommend that spirometry should be obtained to diagnose airflow obstruction in patients with respiratory symptoms (Grade: strong recommendation, moderate-quality evidence). Spirometry should not be used to screen for airflow obstruction in individuals without respiratory symptoms (Grade: strong recommendation, moderate-quality evidence). RECOMMENDATION 2: For stable COPD patients with respiratory symptoms and FEV(1) between 60% and 80% predicted, ACP, ACCP, ATS, and ERS suggest that treatment with inhaled bronchodilators may be used (Grade: weak recommendation, low-quality evidence). RECOMMENDATION 3: For stable COPD patients with respiratory symptoms and FEV(1) 50% predicted. (Grade: weak recommendation, moderate-quality evidence). RECOMMENDATION 7: ACP, ACCP, ATS, and ERS recommend that clinicians should prescribe continuous oxygen therapy in patients with COPD who have severe resting hypoxemia (Pao(2) ≤55 mm Hg or Spo(2) ≤88%) (Grade: strong recommendation, moderate-quality evidence).
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            Pulmonary rehabilitation for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

            Widespread application of pulmonary rehabilitation (also known as respiratory rehabilitation) in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) should be preceded by demonstrable improvements in function (health-related quality of life, functional and maximal exercise capacity) attributable to the programmes. This review updates the review reported in 2006.
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              The care span: The importance of transitional care in achieving health reform.

              Under the Affordable Care Act of 2010, a variety of transitional care programs and services have been established to improve quality and reduce costs. These programs help hospitalized patients with complex chronic conditions-often the most vulnerable-transfer in a safe and timely manner from one level of care to another or from one type of care setting to another. We conducted a systematic review of the research literature and summarized twenty-one randomized clinical trials of transitional care interventions targeting chronically ill adults. We identified nine interventions that demonstrated positive effects on measures related to hospital readmissions-a key focus of health reform. Most of the interventions led to reductions in readmissions through at least thirty days after discharge. Many of the successful interventions shared similar features, such as assigning a nurse as the clinical manager or leader of care and including in-person home visits to discharged patients. Based on these findings, we recommend several strategies to guide the implementation of transitional care under the Affordable Care Act, such as encouraging the adoption of the most effective interventions through such programs as the Community-Based Care Transitions Program and Medicare shared savings and payment bundling experiments.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                15 May 2020
                : 15
                : 1071-1083
                [1 ]Nursing Department, Third Xiangya Hospital of Central South University , Changsha 410013, People’s Republic of China
                [2 ]The First Affiliated Hospital of Zunyi Medical University , Zunyi 563003, People’s Republic of China
                [3 ]Xiang Ya Nursing School of Central South University, Changsha 410013, People’s Republic of China
                [4 ]Respiratory Department, Third Xiangya Hospital of Central South University , Changsha 410013, People’s Republic of China
                [5 ]Center for Health Policy and Management, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College , Beijing 100730, People's Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Jin Yan Email
                © 2020 Zhang 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: 1, Tables: 10, References: 56, Pages: 13
                This study was supported by the China Medical Board (12-115) and the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2018YFC1313600).
                Clinical Trial Report


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