The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2012 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Mary T. Schneeberger; Respiratory Therapy, Hillcrest Hospital, Mayfield Hts., OH

BACKGROUND Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the fourth leading cause of death in the USA and Europe. COPD readmissions to hospitals have historically caused economic burden, which is increasing. It has been reported that patients who complete pulmonary rehab programs may experience a decrease in hospital readmissions due to education received regarding the COPD disease process, exercise during program sessions, and proper training regarding energy use while performing activities of daily living. The purpose of this study was to determine if a pulmonary rehabilitation program is associated with changes in hospital readmissions for these patients. The specific hypothesis was that patients discharged from the hospital with a diagnosis of COPD who complete an outpatient pulmonary rehab program will have fewer hospital readmissions than those who do not complete the program. METHODS Data were obtained using a retrospective chart analysis of patients with a primary diagnosis of COPD from Hillcrest, Euclid, and South Pointe hospitals between January 2010 and December 2011. Inclusion criteria were all patients discharged with a primary diagnosis of COPD. Rehabilitation program completion was defined as attending all of the sessions approved by physician prescription or limited by insurance payment. Partial completion was defined as attendance to some but not all of the sessions approved by physician prescription or limited by insurance payment. Program non-participation is defined as those patients who did not participate in the program. Patients were divided into two groups: Group 1 as completers and Group 2 as partial completers/non-participants. Readmission rates for the two groups were compared with a Chi-square test, with P < 0.05 indicating significance. RESULTS Records of 192 patients were reviewed using the ICD-9 codes relating to COPD. Of the 192 patients, 75 participated in and completed pulmonary rehab, 37 started but did not complete the program, and 80 did not participate in the program. The readmission rate was significantly less for those patients who completed the program (0/75 vs. 15/117, P = 006). CONCLUSIONS Hospital readmission rates were significantly less for those who participated in and completed a Pulmonary Rehab program when compared to partial completers/non-completers. Referral to a Pulmonary Rehabilitation program for patients diagnosed with COPD is recommended. Further studies are suggested to confirm results. Sponsored Research - None