Self-Management Training in Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease Improves the Quality of Life

Turk Thorac J. 2020 Jul;21(4):266-273. doi: 10.5152/TurkThoracJ.2019.19015.


Objectives: Management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) includes interventions such as improving skills in coping with the disease. We aimed to examine the effect of self-management training on the quality of life and functional parameters in patients with moderate to severe COPD.

Materials and methods: Sixty-one consecutive patients with COPD were recruited in the study prospectively. The patients were randomized into two groups: self-management training (n=31) and standard care (n=30). Each patient was evaluated by spirometry, COPD assessment test (CAT), St George's respiratory questionnaire (SGRQ), hospital anxiety and depression scale (HADS), modified British Medical Research Council (mMRC) dyspnea scale, and short form-36 (SF-36). A team of physiotherapists, psychologists, pulmonary disease specialists, and dietitians provided self-management training and biweekly counseling via phone. At the end of three months, both the groups were re-evaluated using the same assessment parameters.

Results: We found no significant difference between the baseline demographic characteristics of the self-management training and standard care groups. We observed a reduction in CAT (p<0.001), SGRQ impact (p=0.013), activity subscales (p<0.001) and the total scores (p=0.020), and HADS anxiety (p=0.012) and depression (p=0.014) scores in the self-management training group after the education session. A significant increase in SF-36 physical function score was also observed (p=0.008). No significant improvement in the functional parameters was observed in either group; however, the change in FEV1 was more pronounced in the self-management training group than in the control group (p=0.017). The hospital readmissions and 1-year survival rates were similar for both the groups after receiving education (p>0.05).

Conclusion: Our results suggest that the self-management training of the patients with COPD improves the quality of life and reduces the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Therefore, at the least, self-management training should be done as the first step of pulmonary rehabilitation in patients with COPD who cannot access pulmonary rehabilitation facilities.