Comparing Self-Management Programs with and without Peer Support among Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Clinical Trial

Hanan Aboumatar, Emmanuel E. Garcia Morales, Leah Ruth Jager, Mohammad Naqibuddin, Samuel Kim, Jamia Saunders, Lee Bone, John Linnell, Marjorie McBurney, Joseph Neiman, Margaret Riley, Nancy Robinson, Cynthia S Rand, Robert Wise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rationale: Self-management support (SMS) is an essential component of care for patients who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but there is little evidence on how to provide SMS most effectively to these patients. Peer support (i.e., support provided by a person with a similar medical condition) has been successfully used to promote self-management among patients with various chronic conditions, yet no randomized studies have focused on testing its effects for patients with COPD. Objectives: To assess whether adding peer support to healthcare professional (HCP) support to help patients with COPD self-management results in better health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and less acute care use. Methods: A two-arm randomized controlled trial was performed at one academic and one community hospital and their affiliate clinics. The study population included patients aged ⩾40 years who had been diagnosed with COPD by a physician and were currently receiving daily treatment for it. Two self-management support strategies were compared over 6 months. One strategy relied on the HCP for COPD self-management (HCP support); the other used a dual approach involving both HCPs and peer supporters (HCP Plus Peer). The primary outcome was change in HRQoL measured by the St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire at 6 months (range, 0-100, lower is better; four-point meaningful difference). Secondary outcomes included COPD-related and all-cause hospitalizations and emergency department visits. Analysis was conducted under intention to treat. Results: The number of enrolled participants was 292. Mean age was 67.7 (standard deviation, 9.4) years; 70.9% of participants were White, and 61.3% were female. St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire scores were not significantly different between the study arms at 6 months. HCP Plus Peer arm participants had fewer COPD-related acute care events at 3 months (incidence rate ratio, 0.68; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.50-0.93) and 6 months (incidence rate ratio, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.71-0.99). Conclusions: Adding peer support to HCP support to help patients self-manage COPD did not further improve HRQoL in this study. However, it did result in fewer COPD-related acute care events during the 6-month intervention period. Clinical trial registered with (NCT02891200).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1687-1696
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of the American Thoracic Society
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2022


  • delivery of health care
  • health care utilization
  • health-related behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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