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Abstract online early

A review of the availability and cost effectiveness of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) management interventions in rural Australia and New Zealand     [ Short Communication ]

Submitted: 17 May 2016
Revised: 3 April 2017
Accepted: 16 May 2017

Author(s) : Brooke ME, Spiliopoulos N, Collins M.


Introduction: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic, progressive disease which consumes a significant proportion of the Australian and New Zealand healthcare budget. Studies have shown that people living with COPD outside of urban areas have higher rates of hospitalisations. Two international reviews have demonstrated reduced hospital admissions and length of stay in people with COPD who participate in an integrated disease management program. However, most studies included in these reviews are in urban settings. The purpose of this review is to explore the type and cost-effectiveness of COPD management interventions located in rural or remote settings of Australia and New Zealand in order to inform planning and ongoing service development in our local health district.
Method: Six databases and Google scholar were searched to find literature relating to the availability and cost-effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions for the management of COPD in rural and remote areas of Australia and New Zealand.
Results: A total of 2 studies were found that met the inclusion criteria. Both studies had small sample sizes, were single intervention studies and showed a positive influence on variables such as number of hospital admissions and length of stay at 12 months post- intervention. However, because of the limited number of studies and the lack of homogeneity of interventions, no conclusions regarding availability and cost-effectiveness of COPD interventions in rural and remote areas of Australia and New Zealand could be drawn.
Conclusion: Limited literature exists to inform planning and development of services for people with COPD living in rural and remote areas of Australia and New Zealand. Approximately 50% of pulmonary rehabilitation programs are situated in rural and remote locations in Australia and New Zealand. Outcomes from existing programs need to be reported in a consistent and coordinated manner to allow evaluation of health resource utilisation.

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