Rationale: Hospital readmission for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has attracted attention owing to the burden to patients and the health care system. There is a knowledge gap on approaches to reducing COPD readmissions.
Objectives: To determine the effect of comprehensive health coaching on the rate of COPD readmissions.
Methods: A total of 215 patients hospitalized for a COPD exacerbation were randomized at hospital discharge to receive either (1) motivational interviewing-based health coaching plus a written action plan for exacerbations (the use of antibiotics and oral steroids) and brief exercise advice or (2) usual care.
Measurements and main results: We evaluated the rate of COPD-related hospitalizations during 1 year of follow-up. The absolute risk reductions of COPD-related rehospitalization in the health coaching group were 7.5% (P = 0.01), 11.0% (P = 0.02), 11.6% (P = 0.03), 11.4% (P = 0.05), and 5.4% (P = 0.24) at 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months, respectively, compared with the control group. The odds ratios for COPD hospitalization in the intervention arm compared with the control arm were 0.09 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.01-0.77) at 1 month postdischarge, 0.37 (95% CI, 0.15-0.91) at 3 months postdischarge, 0.43 (95% CI, 0.20-0.94) at 6 months postdischarge, and 0.60 (95% CI, 0.30-1.20) at 1 year postdischarge. The missing value rate for the primary outcome was 0.4% (one patient). Disease-specific quality of life improved significantly in the health coaching group compared with the control group at 6 and 12 months, based on the Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire emotional score (emotion and mastery domains) and physical score (dyspnea and fatigue domains) (P < 0.05). There were no differences between groups in measured physical activity at any time point.
Conclusions: Health coaching may represent a feasible and possibly effective intervention designed to reduce COPD readmissions. Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT01058486).
Keywords: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; communication skills; health coaching; hospitalizations; quality of life.