By Peter Lindenauer, MD, MSc | UMass Chan Medical School - Baystate
Despite the well-established benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation, only a small share of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) ever complete a single session. In a recent study, for example, we found that only 2% of Medicare beneficiaries went on to enroll in PR within 6 months of hospital discharge following an admission for COPD. Now, with support from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), our team of investigators from UMass Chan Medical School, University of Michigan and the COPD Foundation are hoping to address this issue. If you attended AACVPR’s 37th Annual Meeting in Palm Beach, Florida, you may have even noticed a flyer about this planned research in your conference tote bag.
The IMPRESS (Improving Participation in Pulmonary Rehabilitation through Peer Support and Storytelling) COPD study is a clinical trial designed to test different strategies for boosting enrollment in PR among patients who have experienced a COPD exacerbation. One group of patients will be randomized to a Peer Coach arm and paired with other COPD patients who have benefitted from PR and received brief training in motivational interviewing (MI). The second group of patients will be assigned to a Storytelling arm and instructed to view a series of brief videos of COPD patients describing their positive personal journey with PR, from diagnosis to referral to program completion. Patients assigned to the Control arm will receive a pamphlet at the time of referral to PR.
How can you help?
Recruitment is underway for our first cohort of Peer Coaches, and any help with identifying suitable individuals would be greatly appreciated. We are interested in current PR participants, recent graduates or members of a maintenance program who are outgoing, friendly and passionate about PR. If you know someone who meets these criteria, please share information about the study with him or her. In addition to receiving brief training in MI, coaches will be compensated for time they spend making calls to their assigned patients, attending a monthly coaches meeting and completing surveys. We view this opportunity as a nice way for patients who have benefitted from PR to ‘pay it back’ by helping to advance the science of pulmonary rehabilitation.
Individuals interested in serving as a coach can learn more by contacting our project manager, Raj Kotejoshyer, at Rajashree.Kotejoshyer@baystatehealth.org or by calling 413-794-7909.
Peter Lindenauer, MD, MSc, is a professor of Medicine and Healthcare Delivery and Population Sciences at UMass Chan Medical School – Baystate.