Plain English Summary
Background and study aims
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a term used to describe a collection of lung diseases including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways disease. It is estimated that up to one in four people may develop COPD in their lifetime. Sufferers often face disabling breathlessness which leads to a vicious cycle of reduced activity, social isolation and depression. Around the time of an exacerbation (worsening of the condition) resulting in a hospital admission, the individual is at a greater risk of worsening health and, once discharged, is at risk of being readmitted back into hospital. Pulmonary rehabilitation is recommended by recent National Institute for Clinical Excellence guidelines at this stage, and should ideally be offered within 4 weeks of discharge from hospital. However, despite its proven benefits, pulmonary rehabilitation programmes can be unappealing to a large number of patients. There is, therefore, a need to develop alternative ways to support patients being discharged from hospital with COPD in order to manage their breathlessness, their stress levels and help them regain their physical and social abilities. We believe that the internet may provide the opportunity to increase the provision of accessible information to help patients better understand and self-manage their condition. We have developed a website in collaboration with both experts in pulmonary rehabilitation and patients. We want to offer a self-management programme to patients with COPD for a period of 3 months after discharge from hospital using tablet computers to help, guide, support and encourage them to better understand and manage their condition and thereby reduce unnecessary readmission to hospital.
Who can participate?
Patients admitted to hospital with a diagnosis of exacerbation (worsening) COPD.
What does the study involve?
Participants are given access to the self-management programme for a period of 3 months.
The tablet computers will be preloaded with the web-based version of the SPACE for COPD programme and are offered face-to-face video conferencing with clinicians/nurses. Normal care will not be disrupted including referral and attendance to pulmonary rehabilitation. We are interested to see if this intervention increases patient uptake of pulmonary rehabilitation services offered.
What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
The research participant will have increased access to resources on line and the support and guidance through this web-based self-management programme for six months. In addition the research participant will be able to book an online appointment to speak to a specialist respiratory nurse about any worry or concerns they have about their lung condition and symptoms. This may in turn prevent an unnecessary admission to hospital. We believe this project will address directly the concerns express in the British Lung Foundation survey 'ready for home' . There would be no adverse effects in terms of pain, discomfort or inconvenience. All patients will receive usual care. The only potential adverse effect would be the patients having to remember to login onto the website to access the self-management programme with potentially issues around remembering password, and navigation. Such issues will be minimised by use specialist respiratory nurses to advise and support eligible patients, checking patients progress. We will encouraging patients to phone or video conference the respiratory discharge nurses for advice or help, this is routine proactive currently. We are keen to explore the aim of video conferencing facilities to be able to advise the individual on inhaler technique, breathing control or physical activity strategies more effectively than over the telephone. We have a specifically trained nurse with expertise is web based programme and who has helped design and implement a similar web based programme for cardiac patients. This nurse will be available to support the respiratory nurses and is part of the project team.
Where is the study run from?
University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UK)
When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
September 2014 to May 2017
Who is funding the study?
Academic Health Science Networks (UK)
Who is the main contact?
Ms Sally Boyce
Dr Linzy Houchen-Wolloff
Centre for Exercise and Rehabilitation Science
Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit
+44 (0)116 250 2759
Protocol version 1
InterSPACE: feasibility of an integrated telehealth and self-management programme for individuals hospitalised with an exacerbation of COPD
To assess the feasiblity and acceptability of an integrated telehealth self-management programme for individuals hospitalised with an exacerbation of their COPD
NRES Committee East Midlands-Derby, 22/09/2014, ref: 14/EM/1105
Single-centre non-randomised feasibility study
Primary study design
Secondary study design
Non randomised study
Patient information sheet
Respiratory COPD exercabations
Integrated online self management programme. Does not alter usual care.
Primary outcome measures
The reason for this project is to understand the feasibility and acceptability of the novel tablet based self management support at the time of a hospital discharge. The primary consideration for the study will be uptake and acceptability. Uptake will be reported and we will closely monitor the web usage through a sophisticated web monitoring component embedded in the existing site.
Secondary outcome measures
Current secondary outcome measures as of 21/03/2016:
1. Readmission rates (hospital record checks)
2. Health-related quality of life (CAT and CRQ questionnaire)
3. Anxiety and depression (HADS questionnaire)
4. Physical activity (PACER questionnaire)
5. Impact on clinical team (staff time/cost)
6. Patient and clinician thoughts about the study and intervention (qualitative interviews)
Collected at 3 and 6 months.
Previous secondary outcome measures:
1. Health-related quality of life
2. Anxiety and depression
3. Hospital readmissions.
These will be collected at baseline and after 6 and 12 months.
Overall trial start date
Overall trial end date
Participant inclusion criteria
Patient population: Patients admitted with a primary diagnosis of exacerbation COPD. This may include patients with existing disease or patients who are newly diagnosed on admission to hospital. All patients who are admitted into the Glenfield Hospital with an exacerbation of or newly diagnosed COPD will be screened for eligibility i.e. willing to take part in this pilot study. We will assume that individuals do not necessarily need have Wi-Fi access and provide that 3G connection as part of the package. Eligible patients will however need to have a current email account and be computer literate. Willing participants will be given full instructions on how to access the SPACE self-management programme website via their chosen device.
Target number of participants
Participant exclusion criteria
1. Unwilling to participate
2. Individuals with significant co-morbidities to limit physical activity
3. Unable to read or write English
4. Not computer literate
Recruitment start date
Recruitment end date
Countries of recruitment
Trial participating centre
Leicester Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit
Centre for Exercise and rehabilitation Science
Academic Health Science Network East Midlands (UK)
Funding Body Type
Funding Body Subtype
Results and Publications
Publication and dissemination plan
As the primary aim of this study is to inform a definitive trial, we will disseminate the results of this study widely with appropriate stakeholders (commissioning groups, service managers and service users). This will take the form of steering groups meeting (held monthly), PPI feedback (local group held every 3 months) and abstract submission to national conferences.
Intention to publish date
Participant level data
Not expected to be available
Results - basic reporting