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Influences of patient education on exacerbations and hospital admissions in patients with COPD - a longitudinal national register study

Journal article
Authors Ingela Henoch
Claes-Göran Löfdahl
Ann Ekberg-Jansson
Published in European Clinical Respiratory Journal
Volume 5
Issue 1
ISSN 2001-8525
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Medicine
Institute of Health and Care Sciences
Language en
Keywords Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, smoking cessation program, patient education program, obstructive pulmonary-disease, experience, management, disability, smoking, health, life, care, Respiratory System
Subject categories Respiratory Medicine and Allergy


Introduction: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) contributes to impaired health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Patient education and smoking cessation programs are recommended to reduce the number of exacerbations and hospitalizations, but the effects of such programs have yet to be explored in larger samples. Objective: The aim was to explore the longitudinal effects of patient education and smoking cessation programs on exacerbations and hospital admissions in patients with COPD. Design: This is a register study where data from the Swedish National Airway Register, including 20,666 patients with COPD, were used. Baseline measures of demographic, disease-related, and patient-reported variables were compared with a follow-up, 10-30 months after baseline. Descriptive statistics and changes between baseline and follow-up were calculated. Results: Comparing those not participating in education programs to those who did, HRQoL deteriorated significantly between baseline and follow-up in non-participants; there was no change in either exacerbations or hospitalizations in either group; there was a significant difference in baseline HRQoL between the two, and, when controlling for this, there was no significant change (p = 0.73). Patients who participated in smoking cessation programs were younger than the non-participants; mean 66.0 (standard deviations (SD) 7.8) vs. mean 68.1 (SD 8.8), p = 0.006. Among participants in smoking cessation programs, the proportion with continued smoking decreased significantly, from 76% to 66%, p < 0.001. Exacerbations at follow-up were predicted by FEV1% of predicted value and exacerbations at baseline. Hospital admissions at follow-up were predicted by baseline FEV1% of predicted value and exacerbations at baseline. Conclusions: To prevent exacerbations and hospital admissions, treatment and prevention must be prioritized in COPD care. Patient education and smoking cessation programs are beneficial, but there is a need to combine them with other interventions.

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