Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Discharge Education and Quality of Life Evaluation: A Feasibility Study

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Background and Purpose:Discharge instructions provided to hospitalized participants with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are essential to promote improved health outcomes, reduce incidence of hospitalization, and enhance quality of life (QOL). This study evaluated the feasibility of implementing the American Lung Association's COPD Action Plan and assessment of QOL among participants hospitalized for acute exacerbation of COPD or COPD as a primary or secondary diagnosis.Methods:The study was conducted on a cohort of critically ill participants hospitalized on a progressive care unit. The Principal Investigator administered the WHOQOL-BREF Questionnaire to assess QOL before discharge and 30 days after discharge via phone call. Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance was used to evaluate outcomes from the discharge study.Results:Among participants enrolled (n = 50), 13 completed the in-hospital and follow-up phone call. Participants scored (12; 92% answered “yes”) that they learned appropriate COPD self-management skills, such as change in respiratory symptoms and appropriate actions to take. At 30-day follow-up: number of rehospitalizations (12; 99%), no emergency department visits, and (1; 1%) emergency department visit for insulin reaction, not COPD. Most frequent principal admitted diagnosis was acute respiratory failure, and secondary diagnosis was COPD. There was no significant difference in QOL comparing scores at discharge to 30-day follow-up, using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test.Implications for Practice:COPD education can increase participant satisfaction in receiving self-management instructions from an action plan near the time of discharge based on a small sample.

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