Self-Management Support Using a Digital Health System Compared With Usual Care for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Randomized Controlled Trial
Williams N., Heneghan C., Price J., Hardinge M., Tarassenko L.
© 2017 Adrian Aguilera, Emma Bruehlman-Senecal, Orianna Demasi, Patricia Avila. Background: We conducted a randomized controlled trial of a digital health system supporting clinical care through monitoring and self-management support in community-based patients with moderate to very severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of a fully automated Internet-linked, tablet computer-based system of monitoring and self-management support (EDGE,sElf-management anD support proGrammE) in improving quality of life and clinical outcomes. Methods: We compared daily use of EDGE with usual care for 12 months. The primary outcome was COPD-specific health status measured with the St George's Respiratory Questionnaire for COPD (SGRQ-C). Results: A total of 166 patients were randomized (110 EDGE, 56 usual care). All patients were included in an intention to treat analysis. The estimated difference in SGRQ-C at 12 months (EDGE-usual care) was -1.7 with a 95% CI of -6.6 to 3.2 (P=.49). The relative risk of hospital admission for EDGE was 0.83 (0.56-1.24, P=.37) compared with usual care. Generic health status (EQ-5D, EuroQol 5-Dimension Questionnaire) between the groups differed significantly with better health status for the EDGE group (0.076, 95% CI 0.008-0.14, P=.03). The median number of visits to general practitioners for EDGE versus usual care were 4 versus 5.5 (P=.06) and to practice nurses were 1.5 versus 2.5 (P=.03), respectively. Conclusions: The EDGE clinical trial does not provide evidence for an effect on COPD-specific health status in comparison with usual care, despite uptake of the intervention. However, there appears to be an overall benefit in generic health status; and the effect sizes for improved depression score, reductions in hospital admissions, and general practice visits warrants further evaluation and could make an important contribution to supporting people with COPD.