Date of Submission



Previous researchers have identified that participation in a pulmonary rehabilitation program improves health outcomes yet, continuation in a weekly maintenance program yielded mixed results. Self-management programs have had reported use in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A meta analysis has identified that no self-management program had evaluated the effect of this type of intervention on the functional status of the participant with COPD. Reduced functional status is well reported as an indicator of disease progression in COPD. Adjuvant therapies for people with COPD need to demonstrate an effect in this domain. The Stanford model chronic disease self-management program (CDSMP) had been reported as a program that may optimise the health of people with chronic health conditions. However, its utility has not been formally evaluated for people with COPD. There have not been any reports of a comparison of the Stanford model CDSMP with pulmonary rehabilitation via a randomised controlled study in COPD. Aim: To compare and evaluate the health outcomes from participation in nurse ledwellness-promoting interventions conducted in the ambulatory care setting of a metropolitan hospital. Participants were randomised to either a six-week behavioural intervention: the Stanford model CDSMP or, a six-week pulmonary rehabilitation program and results compared to usual care (a historical control group). The efficacy of the interventions was measured at week seven and repeated at week 26 and 52. Following the week seven evaluation, the pulmonary rehabilitation program participants were rerandomised to usual care or, weekly maintenance pulmonary rehabilitation for 18 weeks and, followed up until the study completion at week 52.Little is reported about the costs of care for people with COPD in Australia. This study prospectively evaluated the costs of the interventions and health resource for the 52 weeks and undertook a cost utility analysis.;Methods: Walking tests (The Incremental Shuttle Walking Test) and questionnaires asking participants about their health related quality of life, mood status, dyspnoea and self efficacy were assessed prior to randomisation to either six week intervention and repeated at weeks 7, 26 and 52. The implementation of these adjuvant therapies enabled all costs associated with the interventions to be prospectively examined and compared. Results: During the two years of recruitment 252 people (54% males) with a mean age 71 years (SD 11, range 39-93 years) were referred to the study. Student's ttests identified that there were no statistically significant differences (P=0.16) between all those referred by age and gender as compared to all those admitted to Hospital A with an exacerbation of COPD. Ninety-seven people (51% male) with a mean age of 68 years (SD 9, range 39-87 years) agreed to participate in the study. Follow up in the study continued for 12 months following enrolment with only a modest level of attrition by week seven (3%) and week 52 (25%). Following the six-week interventions, both the pulmonary rehabilitation and CDSMP groups recorded statistically significant increases in functional capacity, self-efficacy and health related quality of life.Functional performance was additionally evaluated in the intervention arms with participants wearing pedometers for the six-week period of the interventions. There were no statistically significant differences between steps per week (P=0.15) and kilometres per week (P=0.17) walked between these two groups in functional performance. The Spearman rho statistic identified no statistically significant relationship between functional performance and the severity of COPD (rs (33) = 0.19, P = 0.26). No significant correlation between functional capacity and functional performance was identified (rs (32) = 0.19, P = 0.29). This suggests that other factors contribute to daily functional performance.;The largest cost of care for people with COPD has been reported to be unplanned admissions due to an exacerbation of COPD.In this study there were no statistically significant differences between the three intervention groups in the prospective measurement of ambulatory care visits, Emergency Department presentations and admissions to hospital. The calculation of costs illuminated the costs of care in COPD are greater than the population norm. In addition, maintenance pulmonary rehabilitation generated a greater quality adjusted life year (QALY) than a six-week program. Despite the strength of the participants preferences (as measured by the QALY) for maintenance PRP, there were no significant differences in use of hospital resources throughout the study period by the three intervention groups, which suggests some degree of equivalence.

Document Type


Access Rights

Open Access


329 pages

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Faculty of Health Sciences