Can Patients With COPD Assimilate Disease-Specific Information During an Acute Exacerbation?: Results of a Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

Chest. 2018 Sep;154(3):588-596. doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2018.05.028. Epub 2018 Jun 4.


Background: The study aimed to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of an introductory disease-specific educational program delivered during an acute exacerbation of COPD (AECOPD) on objective measures of disease-specific knowledge.

Methods: Patients admitted to a community hospital with an AECOPD were randomly assigned to a control group (standard care) or intervention group (standard care + brief education). The intervention group received two 30-min education sessions in hospital or at home within 2 weeks of hospital admission. Feasibility measures included the number of eligible patients, compliance with the sessions, and number of follow-up measures completed. Disease-specific knowledge and informational needs were measured using the Bristol COPD Knowledge Questionnaire (BCKQ) and the Lung Information Needs Questionnaire (LINQ), respectively, before and after the intervention period.

Results: Thirty-one patients (mean age, 72 ± 10 years) with an AECOPD participated in the study. Of 102 approached patients, 75 consented to screening (73.5%) and 67 (66%) were eligible for the study. Thirty-four patients declined participation. All intervention patients (n = 15) completed the educational sessions and follow-up measures. Three patients (control group) did not complete the follow-up measures. The mean changes and SDs for the BCKQ in the intervention and control groups were 8 ± 5.14 and 3.4 ± 4.9, respectively (P = .02). No difference between groups was found for the LINQ (P = .80).

Conclusions: A brief educational program delivered at the time of hospitalization for an AECOPD was feasible for a subset of patients, resulted in improved disease-specific knowledge, and may be a bridge to more active approaches.

Trial registry:; No.: NCT02321215; URL:

Keywords: COPD; education; exacerbation; hospitalization; self-management.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Associated data