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Collaborating to benefit patients with COPD

Collaborating to benefit patients with COPD

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Congratulations to Professor Helen Reddel who is part of a multi-disciplinary team of researchers that was recently awarded a Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) grant to evaluate the effectiveness of a self-management intervention for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). 

The study will be led by Professor Nicholas Zwar of Bond University, and includes researchers from the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, University of Queensland, University Of Wollongong and University of New South Wales. 

“I’m excited to be working with this team again, to develop strategies that equip patients with COPD with the knowledge, skills and confidence to self-manage their condition in partnership with their primary care providers,” says Professor Reddel.  

COPD is a group of often progressive lung diseases, the most common of which are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. It’s rarely a stand-alone condition and conventional care models have failed to account for the fact that patients with COPD often also have conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or depression. The team aim to develop intervention practices that not only take into account a patient’s multiple conditions and manage them side-by-side but also provide advice and guidance to patients on how to communicate with primary carers and become more engaged in the management of their health.  

The cluster randomised study will work with 46 general practices across Sydney, the Illawarra and South Eastern Queensland over a period of four years to develop, implement and evaluate specific intervention practices. The first group will be provided with current guidelines on how to manage COPD, and will continue to provide usual care to their COPD patients. The second group of general practices will implement specific intervention practices including five scheduled visits with a practice nurse over six months, setting and working towards specific goals, motivational training, support and referral to other health providers. Patient follow-up will be conducted at 6, 12 and 18 months to monitor progress.  

Development of the protocols, tools and recruitment for the Activating Primary Care in COPD Patients with Multi-morbidity (APCOM) study will begin in July 2021. The MRFF grant is for $977,628 over the four-year study period.

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