An Australian study has been highlighted by the American College of Physicians as one of the most influential studies in respiratory medicine to be published last year.
The study published in Thorax by Professor Anne Holland and colleagues from Alfred Health found that home-based pulmonary rehabilitation delivered using minimal resources had similar – and in some cases even superior – outcomes to centre-based pulmonary rehabilitation.
The paper was highlighted by the ACP in the Annals of Internal Medicine ‘annual update’ of the most important internal medicine papers across several sub-specialties. The papers were selected on the novelty and quality of the research, as well as potential impact on clinical practice.
Speaking to the limbic at the time of publication, Professor Holland said the results of the study were significant.
“The real message here is around access and trying to facilitate models for patients who wouldn’t get access otherwise,” she told the limbic.
She said home-based rehabilitation was not widely available for COPD patients anywhere in the world, but this research showed it had strong potential to capture at least some of the overwhelming majority of patients who miss out.
These would include patients in rural and remote areas, as well as those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged, and people who were simply reluctant to commit to attending a centre-based program.
“We know lots of people who decline to come to pulmonary rehabilitation – just the burden of coming is enough to put them off,” Dr Holland said.