Introduction: Chronic disease management for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may improve quality, outcomes and access to care.
Objective: To investigate effectiveness of chronic disease management programmes on the quality-of-life of people with COPD.
Methods: Medline and Embase (1995-2005) were searched for relevant articles, and reference lists and abstracts were searched for controlled trials of chronic disease management programmes for patients with COPD. Quality-of-life was assessed as an outcome parameter. Two reviewers independently reviewed each paper for methodological quality and extracted the data.
Results: We found 10 randomized-controlled trials comparing chronic disease management with routine care. Patient populations, health-care professionals, intensity, and content of the intervention were heterogeneous. Different instruments were used to assess quality of life. Five out of 10 studies showed statistically significant positive outcomes on one or more domains of the quality of life instruments. Three studies, partly located in primary care, showed positive results.
Conclusions: All chronic disease management projects for people with COPD involving primary care improved quality of life. In most of the studies, aspects of chronic disease management were applied to a limited extent. Quality of randomized-controlled trials was not optimal. More research is needed on chronic disease management programmes in patients with COPD across primary and secondary care.