Improving access to community-based pulmonary rehabilitation: 3R protocol for real-world settings with cost-benefit analysis

BMC Public Health 19 (1):676 (2019)

Abstract
Pulmonary rehabilitation has demonstrated patients’ physiological and psychosocial improvements, symptoms reduction and health-economic benefits whilst enhances the ability of the whole family to adjust to illness. However, PR remains highly inaccessible due to lack of awareness of its benefits, poor referral and availability mostly in hospitals. Novel models of PR delivery are needed to enhance its implementation while maintaining cost-efficiency. We aim to implement an innovative community-based PR programme and assess its cost-benefit. A 12-week community-based PR will be implemented in primary healthcare centres where programmes are not available. Healthcare professionals will be trained. 73 patients with CRD and their caregivers will compose the experimental group. The control group will include dyads age- and disease-matched willing to collaborate in data collection but not in PR. Patients/family-centred outcomes will be dyspnoea, fatigue, cough and sputum, impact of the disease, emotional state, number of exacerbations, healthcare utilisation, health-related quality of life and family adaptability/cohesion. Other clinical outcomes will be peripheral and respiratory muscle strength, muscle thickness and cross sectional area, exercise capacity, balance and physical activity. Data will be collected at baseline, at 12 weeks, at 3- and 6-months post-PR. Changes in the outcome measures will be compared between groups, after multivariate adjustment for possible confounders, and effect sizes will be calculated. A cost-benefit analysis will be conducted. This study will enhance patients access to PR, by training healthcare professionals in the local primary healthcare centres to conduct such programmes and actively involving caregivers. The cost-benefit analysis of this intervention will provide an evidence-based insight into the economic benefit of community-based PR in chronic respiratory diseases. The trial was registered in the ClinicalTrials. gov U.S. National Library of Medicine, on 10th January, 2019.
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DOI 10.1186/s12889-019-7045-1
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