Telehealthcare for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Cochrane Review and meta-analysis

Susannah McLean, Ulugbek Nurmatov, Joseph L.Y. Liu, Claudia Pagliari, Josip Car, Aziz Sheikh

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Background
    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is common. Telehealthcare, involving personalised health care over a distance, is seen as having the potential to improve care for people with COPD.

    Aim
    To systematically review the effectiveness of telehealthcare interventions in COPD to improve clinical and process outcomes.

    Design and setting
    Cochrane Systematic Review of randomised controlled trials.

    Methods
    The study involved searching the Cochrane Airways Group Register of Trials, which is derived from the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE®, embase™, and CINAHL®, as well as searching registers of ongoing and unpublished trials. Randomised controlled trials comparing a telehealthcare intervention with a control intervention in people with a clinical diagnosis of COPD were identified. The main outcomes of interest were quality of life and risk of emergency department visit, hospitalisation, and death. Two authors independently selected trials for inclusion and extracted data. Study quality was assessed using the Cochrane Collaboration's risk of bias method. Meta-analysis was undertaken using fixed effect and/or random effects modelling.

    Results
    Ten randomised controlled trials were included. Telehealthcare did not improve COPD quality of life: mean difference -6.57 (95% confidence interval [CI] = -13.62 to 0.48). However, there was a significant reduction in the odds ratios (ORs) of emergency department attendance (OR = 0.27; 95% CI = 0.11 to 0.66) and hospitalisation (OR = 0.46; 95% CI = 0.33 to 0.65). There was a non-significant change in the OR of death (OR = 1.05; 95% CI = 0.63 to 1.75).

    Conclusion
    In COPD, telehealthcare interventions can significantly reduce the risk of emergency department attendance and hospitalisation, but has little effect on the risk of death.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)e739-e749
    Number of pages11
    JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
    Volume62
    Issue number604
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012

    Keywords

    • Telehealth
    • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
    • Cochrane systematic review
    • Meta-analysis

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