24 November 2016
The increasing prevalence of chronic diseases requires changes in health care delivery. In COPD, telemedicine appears to be a useful tool. Our objective was to evaluate the efficacy (in improving health care-resource use and clinical outcomes) of a telemonitoring-based program (telEPOC) in COPD patients with frequent hospitalizations.
We conducted a nonrandomized observational study in an intervention cohort of 119 patients (Galdakao-Usansolo Hospital) and a control cohort of 78 patients (Cruces Hospital), followed up for 2 years ( ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02528370). The inclusion criteria were two or more hospital admissions in the previous year or three or more admissions in the previous 2 years. The intervention group received telemonitoring plus education and controls usual care.
Most participants were men (13% women), and the sample had a mean age of 70 years, forced expiratory volume in 1 second of 45%, Charlson comorbidity index score of 3.5, and BODE (body mass index, airflow obstruction, dyspnea, and exercise capacity) index score of 4.1. In multivariate analysis, the intervention was independently related to lower rates of hospital admission (odds ratio [OR] 0.38, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.27–0.54; P<0.0001), emergency department attendance (OR 0.56, 95% CI 0.35–0.92; P<0.02), and 30-day readmission (OR 0.46, 95% CI 0.29–0.74; P<0.001), as well as cumulative length of stay (OR 0.58, 95% CI 0.46–0.73; P<0.0001). The intervention was independently related to changes in several clinical variables during the 2-year follow-up.