Can a supported self-management program for COPD upon hospital discharge reduce readmissions? A randomized controlled trial

V. Johnson-Warrington, K. Rees, C. Gelder, M. D. Morgan, Sally J. Singh

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Introduction: Patients with COPD experience exacerbations that may require hospitalization. Patients do not always feel supported upon discharge and frequently get readmitted. A Self-management Program of Activity, Coping, and Education for COPD (SPACE for COPD), a brief self-management program, may help address this issue. Objective: To investigate if SPACE for COPD employed upon hospital discharge would reduce readmission rates at 3 months, compared with usual care. Methods: This is a prospective, single-blinded, two-center trial (ISRCTN84599369) with participants admitted for an exacerbation, randomized to usual care or SPACE for COPD. Measures, including health-related quality of life and exercise capacity, were taken at baseline (hospital discharge) and at 3 months. The primary outcome measure was respiratory readmission at 3 months. Results: Seventy-eight patients were recruited (n=39 to both groups). No differences were found in readmission rates or mortality at 3 months between the groups. Ten control patients were readmitted within 30 days compared to five patients in the intervention group (P>0.05). Both groups significantly improved their exercise tolerance and Chronic Respiratory Questionnaire (CRQ-SR) results, with between-group differences approaching statistical significance for CRQ-dyspnea and CRQ-emotion, in favor of the intervention. The “Ready for Home” survey revealed that patients receiving the intervention reported feeling better able to arrange their life to cope with COPD, knew when to seek help about feeling unwell, and more often took their medications as prescribed, compared to usual care (P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1161-1169
JournalInternational Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2016

Bibliographical note

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.


  • COPD exacerbations
  • pulmonary rehabilitation
  • exercise
  • emphysema
  • self-management


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