Peer educator vs. respiratory therapist support: Which form of support better maintains health and functional outcomes following pulmonary rehabilitation?

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Abstract

Objective: This study examined if ongoing support delivered by telephone following pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) assisted chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients to maintain health outcomes. Methods: Phase one (n= 79) compared post-rehabilitation telephone-based support delivered by peers compared to usual care (UC). The second phase (n= 168) compared post-rehabilitation support from peer educators, respiratory therapists (RT), or UC. Primary outcome variables were St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) total score and the six minute walk test (6MWT). Measures were obtained at baseline, immediately following PR, and six-months post PR. Results: Six-month follow-up data for phase one was collected for 66 COPD patients (n= 35 peer support, n= 31 UC) and 142 for phase two (n= 42 peer support, n= 52 RT support, n= 48 UC). Per-protocol and intention to treat (ITT) analysis in both phases found no significant group by time differences for SGRQ or 6MWT. Conclusion: Providing peer or RT support via telephone following PR was not more effective than UC for maintaining health outcomes. Practice implications: There are concerns with using peers to provide ongoing support to COPD patients. Additionally, COPD patients require a higher level of care than telephone support can provide. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

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Wong, E. Y., Jennings, C. A., Rodgers, W. M., Selzler, A. M., Simmonds, L. G., Hamir, R., & Stickland, M. K. (2014). Peer educator vs. respiratory therapist support: Which form of support better maintains health and functional outcomes following pulmonary rehabilitation? Patient Education and Counseling, 95(1), 118–125. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2013.12.008

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