Socioeconomically disadvantaged patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) often face barriers to evidence-based care that are difficult to address in public care settings with limited resources.Objectives:
To determine the benefit of health coaching for patients with moderate to severe COPD relative to usual care.Methods:
We conducted a randomized controlled trial of 9 months of health coaching versus usual care for English- or Spanish-speaking patients at least 40 years of age with moderate to severe COPD. Primary outcomes were COPD-related quality of life and the dyspnea subscale of the Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire. Secondary outcomes were self-efficacy for managing COPD, exercise capacity (6-min walk test), and number of COPD exacerbations. Additional outcomes were COPD symptoms, lung function (forced expiratory volume in 1 s percent predicted), smoking status, bed days owing to COPD, quality of care (Patient Assessment of Chronic Illness Care), COPD knowledge, and symptoms of depression (Patient Health Questionnaire). Outpatient visits, emergency department visits, and hospitalizations were assessed by review of medical records. Generalized linear modeling was used to adjust for baseline values and account for clustering by clinic.Results:
Of 192 patients enrolled, 158 (82%) completed 9 months of follow-up. There were no significant differences between study arms for the primary or secondary outcomes. At 9 months, patients in the coached group reported better quality of care (mean Patient Assessment of Chronic Illness Care score, 3.30 vs. 3.18; adjusted P = 0.02) and were less likely to report symptoms of moderate to severe depression (Patient Health Questionnaire score, ≥15) than those in the usual care arm (6% vs. 20%; adjusted P = 0.01). During the study, patients in the coaching arm had 48% fewer hospitalizations related to COPD (0.27/patient/yr vs. 0.52/patient/yr), but this difference was not significant in the adjusted analysis.Conclusions:
These results help inform expectations regarding the limitations and benefits of health coaching for patients with COPD. They may be useful to health policy experts in assessing the potential value of reimbursement and incentives for health coaching-type activities for patients with chronic disease.Conclusions:
Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT02234284).