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      Spreading improvements for advanced COPD care through a Canadian Collaborative

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          A year-long pan-Canadian quality improvement collaborative (QIC) led by the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) supported the spread of the successful Halifax, Nova Scotia-based INSPIRED COPD Outreach Program™ to 19 teams in the 10 Canadian provinces. We describe QIC results, addressing two main questions: 1) Can the results of the Nova Scotia INSPIRED model be replicated elsewhere in Canada? 2) How did the teams implement and evaluate their versions of the INSPIRED program?


          Collaborative faculty selected measures that were evidence-based, relatively simple to collect, and relevant to local context. Chosen process and outcome measures are related to four quality domains: 1) patient- and family-centeredness, 2) coordination, 3) efficiency, and 4) appropriateness. Evaluation of a complex intervention followed a mixed-methods approach.


          Most participants were nurse managers and/or COPD educators. Only 8% were physicians. Fifteen teams incorporated all core INSPIRED interventions. All teams carried out evaluation. Thirteen teams actively involved patients and families in customized, direct care planning, eg, asking them to complete evaluative surveys and/or conducting interviews. Patients consistently reported greater self-confidence in symptom management, a return to daily activities, and improvements to quality of life. Twelve teams collected data on care transitions using the validated three-item Care Transitions Measure (CTM-3). Twelve teams used the Lung Information Needs Questionnaire (LINQ). Admissions, emergency room visits, and patient-related costs fell substantially for two teams described in detail (combined enrollment 208 patients). Most teams reported gaining deeper knowledge around complexities of COPD care, optimizing patient care through action plans, self-management support, psychosocial support, advance care planning, and coordinating community partnerships.


          Quality-of-care gains are achievable in the short term among different teams across diverse geographical and social contexts. A well-designed, adequately funded public–private partnership can deliver widespread beneficial outcomes for the health care system and for those living with advanced COPD.

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          Most cited references 27

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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 education for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

            There is great interest in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and the associated large burden of disease. COPD is characterised by frequent day by day fluctuations, and repetitive clinical exacerbations are typical. Self-management is a term applied to educational programmes aimed at teaching skills needed to carry out medical regimens specific to the disease, guide health behaviour change, and provide emotional support for patients to control their disease and live functional lives. In COPD, the value of self-management education is not yet clear. The first Cochrane review about self-management was published in 2003. It was intended to shed light on the effectiveness of self-management programmes in COPD and the relative efficacy of their constitutive elements. No conclusions about the effectiveness of self-management could be drawn because of the large variation in outcome measures used in the limited number of included studies. This article describes the first update of this review. The objective of this review was to assess the settings, methods and efficacy of COPD self-management education programmes on health outcomes and use of health care services. We searched the Cochrane Airways Group trial register, MEDLINE (January 1985 to January 2006), reference lists, and abstracts of medical conferences. Controlled trials (randomised and non-randomised) of self-management education in patients with COPD. Studies focusing mainly on pulmonary rehabilitation and studies without usual care as a control group were excluded. Two reviewers independently assessed study quality and extracted data. Investigators were contacted for additional information. The reviewers included 15 group comparisons drawn from 14 trials. They assessed a broad-spectrum of interventions and health outcomes with different follow-up times. Meta-analyses could often not appropriately be performed because of heterogeneity among studies. The studies showed a significant reduction in the probability of at least one hospital admission among patients receiving self-management education compared to those receiving usual care (OR 0.64; 95% CI (0.47 to 0.89)). This translates into a one year NNT ranging from 10 (6 to 35) for patients with a 51% risk of exacerbation, to an NNT of 24 (16 to 80) for patients with a 13% risk of exacerbation. On the disease specific SGRQ, differences reached statistical significance at the 5% level on the total score (WMD -2.58; 95% CI (-5.14 to -0.02)) and impact domain (WMD -2.83; 95% CI (-5.65 to -0.02)), but these difference did not reach the clinically relevant improvement of 4 points. A small but significant reduction was detected in dyspnoea measured with the BORG-scale (WMD -0.53; 95% CI (-0.96 to -0.10)). No significant effects were found either in number of exacerbations, emergency department visits, lung function, exercise capacity, and days lost from work. Inconclusive results were observed in doctor and nurse visits, on symptoms other than dyspnoea, the use of courses of oral corticosteroids and antibiotics, and the use of rescue medication. It is likely that self-management education is associated with a reduction in hospital admissions with no indications for detrimental effects in other outcome parameters. This would in itself already be enough reason for recommending self-management education in COPD. However, because of heterogeneity in interventions, study populations, follow-up time, and outcome measures, data are still insufficient to formulate clear recommendations regarding the form and contents of self-management education programmes in COPD. There is an evident need for more large RCTs with a long-term follow-up, before more conclusions can be drawn.
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              Quality collaboratives: lessons from research.

              Quality improvement collaboratives are increasingly being used in many countries to achieve rapid improvements in health care. However, there is little independent evidence that they are more cost effective than other methods, and little knowledge about how they could be made more effective. A number of systematic evaluations are being performed by researchers in North America, the UK, and Sweden. This paper presents the shared ideas from two meetings of these researchers. The evidence to date is that some collaboratives have stimulated improvements in patient care and organisational performance, but there are significant differences between collaboratives and teams. The researchers agreed on the possible reasons why some were less successful than others, and identified 10 challenges which organisers and teams need to address to achieve improvement. In the absence of more conclusive evidence, these guidelines are likely to be useful for collaborative organisers, teams and their managers and may also contribute to further research into collaboratives and the spread of innovations in health care.

                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
                26 July 2017
                : 12
                : 2157-2164
                [1 ]Division of Respirology, Nova Scotia Health Authority/Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS
                [2 ]Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement
                [3 ]The Ottawa Hospital COPD Outreach Program, Ottawa, ON
                [4 ]Providence COPD Outreach Program, Vancouver, BC, Canada
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Graeme M Rocker, Division of Respirology Nova Scotia Health Authority/Dalhousie University, 4457 Halifax Infirmary, 1796 Summer St, Halifax, NS B3H 3A7, Canada, Tel +1 902 473 6611, Fax +1 902 473 6202, Email gmrocker@
                © 2017 Rocker 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.

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