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      Efficacy of a self-management plan in exacerbations for patients with advanced COPD

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          Self-management interventions improve different outcome variables in various chronic diseases. Their role in COPD has not been clearly established. We assessed the efficacy of an intervention called the self-management program on the need for hospital care due to disease exacerbation in patients with advanced COPD.


          Multicenter, randomized study in two hospitals with follow-up of 1 year. All the patients had severe or very severe COPD, and had gone to either an accident and emergency (A&E) department or had been admitted to a hospital at least once in the previous year due to exacerbation of COPD. The intervention consisted of a group education session on the main characteristics of the disease, an individual training session on inhalation techniques, at the start and during the 3rd month, and a written action plan containing instructions for physical activity and treatment for stable phases and exacerbations. We determined the combined number of COPD-related hospitalizations and emergency visits per patient per year. Secondary endpoints were number of patients with visits to A&E and the number of patients hospitalized because of exacerbations, use of antibiotics and corticosteroids, length of hospital stay, and all-cause mortality.


          After 1 year, the rate of COPD exacerbations with visits to A&E or hospitalization had decreased from 1.37 to 0.89 ( P=0.04) and the number of exacerbations dropped from 52 to 42 in the group of patients who received the intervention. The numbers of patients hospitalized, at 19 (40.4%) versus 20 (52.6%) ( P=0.26), and those who went to A&E, at 9 (19.1%) versus 14 (36.8%) ( P=0.06), due to exacerbation of COPD were also lower in this group. Intake of antibiotics was higher in the intervention group, whereas use of glucocorticoids was slightly lower, though there were no significant differences ( P=0.30). There were also no differences between groups in the length of hospital stay ( P=0.154) or overall mortality ( P=0.191).


          The implementation of a self-management program for patients with advanced COPD reduced exacerbations that required hospital care.

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          Reduction of hospital utilization in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a disease-specific self-management intervention.

          Self-management interventions improve various outcomes for many chronic diseases. The definite place of self-management in the care of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has not been established. We evaluated the effect of a continuum of self-management, specific to COPD, on the use of hospital services and health status among patients with moderate to severe disease. A multicenter, randomized clinical trial was carried out in 7 hospitals from February 1998 to July 1999. All patients had advanced COPD with at least 1 hospitalization for exacerbation in the previous year. Patients were assigned to a self-management program or to usual care. The intervention consisted of a comprehensive patient education program administered through weekly visits by trained health professionals over a 2-month period with monthly telephone follow-up. Over 12 months, data were collected regarding the primary outcome and number of hospitalizations; secondary outcomes included emergency visits and patient health status. Hospital admissions for exacerbation of COPD were reduced by 39.8% in the intervention group compared with the usual care group (P =.01), and admissions for other health problems were reduced by 57.1% (P =.01). Emergency department visits were reduced by 41.0% (P =.02) and unscheduled physician visits by 58.9% (P =.003). Greater improvements in the impact subscale and total quality-of-life scores were observed in the intervention group at 4 months, although some of the benefits were maintained only for the impact score at 12 months. A continuum of self-management for COPD patients provided by a trained health professional can significantly reduce the utilization of health care services and improve health status. This approach of care can be implemented within normal practice.
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            Self management for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

            Self management interventions help patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) acquire and practise the skills they need to carry out disease-specific medical regimens, guide changes in health behaviour and provide emotional support to enable patients to control their disease. Since the first update of this review in 2007, several studies have been published. The results of the second update are reported here.
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              Self-management education programs in chronic disease: a systematic review and methodological critique of the literature.

              Self-management programs have been widely reported to help patients manage symptoms and contain utilization of health care resources for several chronic conditions, but to date no systematic review across multiple chronic diseases has been reported. We evaluated the efficacy of patient self-management educational programs for chronic diseases and critically reviewed their methodology. We searched MEDLINE and HealthSTAR for the period January 1, 1964, through January 31, 1999, then hand searched the reference section of each article for other relevant publications. We included studies if a self-management education intervention for a chronic disease was reported, a concurrent control group was included, and clinical outcomes were evaluated. Two authors reviewed each study and extracted the data on clinical outcomes. We included 71 trials of self-management education. Trial methods varied substantially and were suboptimal. Diabetic patients involved with self-management education programs demonstrated reductions in glycosylated hemoglobin levels (summary effect size, 0.45; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.17-0.74); diabetic patients had improvement in systolic blood pressure (summary effect size, 0.20; 95% CI, 0.01-0.39); and asthmatic patients experienced fewer attacks (log rate ratio, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.35-0.83). Although we found a trend toward a small benefit, arthritis self-management education programs were not associated with statistically significant effects. Evidence of publication bias existed. Self-management education programs resulted in small to moderate effects for selected chronic diseases. In light of evidence of publication bias, further trials that adhere to a standard methodology would help clarify whether self-management education is worthwhile.

                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
                17 August 2016
                : 11
                : 1939-1947
                [1 ]Division of Pneumology, Hospital Morales Meseguer
                [2 ]University of Murcia
                [3 ]Division of Pneumology, Hospital Arrixaca, Murcia
                [4 ]Department of Professional Development Unit, Murcia, Spain
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Roberto Bernabeu-Mora, Division of Pneumology, Hospital Morales Meseguer, Avda Marqués de los Vélez s/n, 30008 Murcia, Spain, Tel +34 968 360 900, Fax +34 968 360 994, Email rbernabeumora@
                © 2016 Sánchez-Nieto 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

                self-management, copd, severe exacerbations


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