Introduction: Pharmacologic management of acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD) is well-established. Our aim in the current study is to determine if therapy with a positive expiratory pressure (PEP) device with or without an oscillatory mechanism (OM) in addition to standard care results in a reduction in hospital length of stay (LOS) among patients hospitalized for AECOPD.
Methods: Two studies were performed and are reported here. Study 1: Patients admitted with AECOPD and sputum production were enrolled in a prospective trial comparing PEP therapy versus Oscillatory PEP (OPEP) therapy. Study 2: A retrospective historical cohort, matched in a 2 to 1 manner by age, gender, and season of admission, was compared with the prospectively collected data to determine the effect of PEP ± OM versus standard care on hospital LOS.
Results: In the prospective trial (Study 1; 91 subjects), median hospital LOS was 3.2 (95% CI 3.0-4.3) days in the OPEP group and 4.8 (95% CI 3.9-6.1) days in the PEP group (p=0.16). In fully adjusted models comparing the prospective trial data with the retrospective cohort (Study 2; 182 subjects), cases had a median hospital LOS of 4.2 days (95% CI 3.8-5.1) versus 5.2 days (95% CI 4.4-6.0) in controls, consistent with a shorter hospital LOS with adjunctive PEP±OM therapy versus standard care (p=0.04).
Conclusion: Adjunctive therapy with a PEP device versus standard care may reduce hospital LOS in patients admitted for AECOPD. Although the addition of an OM component to PEP therapy suggests a further reduction in hospital LOS, comprehensive multicenter randomized controlled trials are needed to confirm these findings.
Clinical trial registration number: NCT03094806.
Keywords: PEP; acute exacerbation of COPD; hospitalization; length of stay.
© 2019 Milan et al.