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Telemonitoring Adds No Benefit to Self-Management in COPD — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
October 21, 2013

Telemonitoring Adds No Benefit to Self-Management in COPD

By Joe Elia

Using home telemonitoring to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease does not delay patients' hospital admissions or improve their health-related quality of life, a BMJ study finds.

Researchers randomized some 250 patients in Scotland who'd been admitted for COPD in the previous year. Patients received either home telemonitoring — through which they could report oxygen saturation and symptoms on a daily basis — or usual care. Both groups received instructions on self-management.

After 1 year, the telemonitored group showed no delay in their next admission for a COPD exacerbation (362 days vs. 361 for controls). Similarly, the duration of admissions and scores on quality-of-life measures did not differ significantly.

The results suggest that in COPD, according to editorialists, "the addition of telemonitoring ... is costly and ineffective."

Reader Comments (1)

Claude S. Poliakoff, MD FACS retired Physician, Surgery, General, OHSU patient support group lead

Inspire of my enthusiastic technological bias, this report has been the victim of potential methodical & selection flaws. Regrettably many patients require hand holding pursuit, & being offered the opportunity to report findings & symptoms, fails to provide measurable benefit. What a pity!

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