Discharge Coordinator Intervention Prevents Hospitalizations in Patients With COPD: A Randomized Controlled Trial



      To test whether coordination of discharge from hospital reduces hospitalizations in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).


      Randomized controlled clinical trial.


      Specialized pulmonary hospital.


      Patients hospitalized for an acute exacerbation of COPD.


      Care as usual included routine patient education, supervised inhaler use, respiratory physiotherapy, and disease-related communication. The discharge coordinator intervention added assessment of patient situation and homecare needs. Patients and caregivers were actively involved and empowered in the discharge planning process, which was communicated with community medical professionals to provide continuity of care at home.


      The primary end-point of the study was the number of patients hospitalized because of worsening COPD. Key secondary end-points were time-to-COPD hospitalization, all-cause mortality, all-cause hospitalization, days alive and out of hospital, and health-related quality of life.


      Of 253 eligible patients (71 ± 9 years, 72% men, 87% GOLD III/IV), 118 were assigned to intervention and 135 to usual care. During a follow-up of 180 days, fewer patients receiving intervention were hospitalized for COPD (14% versus 31%, P = .002) or for any cause (31% versus 44%, P = .033). In time-to-event analysis, intervention was associated with lower rates of COPD hospitalizations (P = .001). A Cox model of proportional hazards, adjusted for sex, age, GOLD stage, heart failure, malignant disease, and long-term oxygen treatment, demonstrated that intervention reduced the risk of COPD hospitalization (hazard ratio 0.43, 95% confidence interval 0.24–0.77, P = .002).


      Among patients hospitalized for acute COPD exacerbation, discharge coordinator intervention reduced both COPD hospitalizations and all-cause hospitalizations.


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