Purpose: The management of COPD is a significant and costly issue worldwide, with acute healthcare utilisation consisting of admissions and outpatient attendances being a major contributor to the cost. Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) and integrated disease management (IDM) are often offered. Whilst there is strong evidence of physical and quality of life outcomes following IDM and PR, few studies have looked into healthcare utilisation. The aims of this study were to confirm whether IDM and PR reduce acute healthcare utilisation and to identify factors which contribute to acute health care utilisation or increased mortality. Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study of patients with COPD who were referred to IDM over a 10-year period. Patients were also offered an 8-week PR program. Data collected were matched with the hospital dataset to obtain information on inpatient, ED and outpatient attendances. Results: 517 patients were enrolled to IDM. 315 (61%) also commenced PR and 220 (43%) completed PR. Patients who were referred to PR were younger and had less comorbidities (p < 0.001). Both groups (IDM only and IDM + PR referred) had reductions in healthcare utilisation but the IDM-only group had greater reductions. A survival benefit (HR 0.68, 95% CI 0.50–0.92) was seen in those who were PR completers compared to patients who received IDM only. Conclusions: Patients with COPD who successfully complete PR in addition to participating in IDM have improved survival. IDM alone was effective in the reduction of healthcare utilisation; however, the addition of PR did not reduce healthcare usage further.
- Disease management
- Pulmonary disease, chronic obstructive