Background Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a leading cause of hospitalizations. Interventional studies focusing on the hospital-to-home transition for COPD patients are few. In the BREATHE (Better Respiratory Education and Treatment Help Empower) study, we developed and tested a patient and family-centered transitional care program that helps prepare hospitalized COPD patients and their family caregivers to manage COPD at home. Methods In the study's initial phase, we co-developed the BREATHE transitional care program with COPD patients, family-caregivers, and stakeholders. The program offers tailored services to address individual patients' needs and priorities at the hospital and for 3 months post discharge. We tested the program in a single-blinded RCT with 240 COPD patients who were randomized to receive the program or ‘usual care’. Program participants were offered the opportunity to invite a family caregiver, if available, to enroll with them into the study. The primary outcomes were the combined number of COPD-related hospitalizations and Emergency Department (ED) visits per participant at 6 months post discharge, and the change in health-related quality of life over the 6 months study period. Other measures include ‘all cause’ hospitalizations and ED visits; patient activation; self-efficacy; and, self-care behaviors. Discussion Unlike 1 month transitional care programs that focus on patients' post-acute care needs, the BREATHE program helps hospitalized COPD patients manage the post discharge period as well as prepare them for long term self-management of COPD. If proven effective, this program may offer a timely solution for hospitals in their attempts to reduce COPD rehospitalizations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)