Self treatment of COPD is cost effective and improves management of exacerbations.
This is the conclusion of a study involving 142 patients who were randomly allocated to self-management sessions, with or without training in self-treatment of exacerbations. Patients in the self-treatment group received an action plan and could begin a course of prednisolone, with or without antibiotics if they required it.
The frequency of exacerbations was the same for both groups in the study but exacerbations were shorter for patients who were in the self-treatment groups.
The researchers found that self-treatment was cost effective as patients were less likely to need hospital treatment and had fewer contacts with healthcare professionals.
Thorax. Published Online First: 6 September 2009. doi:10.1136/thx.2008.112243