Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is recommended after a severe COPD exacerbation, but its short- and long-term effects on health care utilization have not been fully established.
The aims of this study were to evaluate patient compliance with a chronic disease management (CDM) program incorporating home-based exercise training as the main component after a severe COPD exacerbation and to determine its effects on health care utilization in the following year.
COPD patients with a severe exacerbation were included in a case-cohort study at admission. An intervention group participated in a nurse-supervised CDM program during the 2 months after discharge, comprising of home-based PR with exercise components directly supervised by a physiotherapist, while the remaining patients followed usual care.
Nineteen of the twenty-one participants (90.5%) were compliant with the CDM program and were compared with 29 usual-care patients. Compliance with the program was associated with statistically significant reductions in admissions due to respiratory disease in the following year (median [interquartile range]: 0 [0–1] vs 1 [0–2.5]; P=0.022) and in days of admission (0 [0–7] vs 7 [0–12]; P=0.034), and multiple linear regression analysis confirmed the protective effect of the CDM program (β coefficient −0.785, P=0.014, and R 2=0.219).