As healthcare evolves, there is a greater push for providing care to patients where they want it, and a new study supports the benefits of this kind of care.
A study published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society in December 2017 found that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were more active when prompted a health coach’s phone call.
David B. Coultas, MD, of Oregon Health & Science University, led the study which placed more than 300 patients with COPD in a six-week education program on self-management. Following the conclusion of that program, about half the patients returned to their normal daily care patterns while the other half received 20 weeks of home-based health coaching services by phone. In the 18 months researchers studied the two groups, they found the group receiving home-based coaching was persistently more active than the group not coached.
The study measured efficacy of the interventions in improving health by assessing the first second of forced expiratory volume (FEV1), Coultas said.
“On average, adopting an increase in lifestyle physical activity prevented decline in functional capacity over 18 months, measured by the six-minute walking distance (a common pulmonary test) among patients with moderate impairment (FEV1 50% to 70% predicted),” Coultas told Medical Economics. “The six-minute walking distance declined among patients in the control group with moderate impairment and all patients with severe impairment (FEV1 <50% predicted). However, patients with severe impairment had a reduced rate of COPD-related emergency room visits and hospitalizations.”