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      Effect of tele–health care on quality of life in patients with severe COPD: a randomized clinical trial

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          Background and objective

          Telemonitoring (TM) of patients with COPD has gained much interest, but studies have produced conflicting results. We aimed to investigate the effect of TM with the option of video consultations on quality of life (QoL) in patients with severe COPD.

          Patients and methods

          COPD patients at high risk of exacerbations were eligible for the 6-month study and a total of 281 patients were equally randomized to either TM (n=141) or usual care (n=140). TM comprised recording of symptoms, oxygen saturation, spirometry, and video consultations. Algorithms generated alerts if readings breached thresholds. Both groups filled in a health-related QoL questionnaire (15D ©) and the COPD Assessment Test (CAT) at baseline and at 6 months. Within-group differences were analyzed by paired t-test.


          Most of the enrolled patients had severe COPD (86% with Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease stage 3 or 4 and 45% with admission for COPD within the last year, respectively). No difference in drop-out rate and mortality was found between the groups, and likewise there was no difference in 15D or CAT at baseline. At 6 months, a significant improvement of 0.016 in 15D score ( p=0.03; minimal clinically important difference 0.015) was observed in the TM group (compared to baseline), while there was no improvement in the control group −0.003 ( p=0.68). After stratifying 15D score at baseline to <0.75 or ≥0.75, respectively, there was a significant difference in the <0.75 TM group of 0.037 ( p=0.001), which is a substantial improvement. No statistically significant changes were found in CAT score.


          Compared to the nonintervention group, TM as an add-on to usual care over a 6-month period improved QoL, as assessed by the 15D questionnaire, in patients with severe COPD, whereas no difference between groups was observed in CAT score.

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          Most cited references 16

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          The significance of respiratory symptoms and the diagnosis of chronic bronchitis in a working population.

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

            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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              Proactive integrated care improves quality of life in patients with COPD.

              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.

                Author and article information

                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
                29 August 2018
                : 13
                : 2657-2662
                [1 ]Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Hvidovre Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark, csulrik@
                [2 ]Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark, csulrik@
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Charlotte S Ulrik, Department of Respiratory Medicine, Hvidovre Hospital, Kettegård Alle 30, DK-2650 Hvidovre, Denmark, Tel +45 2162 3648, Email csulrik@
                © 2018 Tupper 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.

                Original Research

                Respiratory medicine

                quality of life, copd, video consultations, tele–health care


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