Evaluation of a disease management program for COPD using propensity matched control group

Pradeep Paul George, Bee Hoon Heng, Tow Keang Lim, John Abisheganaden, Alan Wei Keong Ng, Akash Verma, Fong Seng Lim


Background: Disease management programs (DMPs) have proliferated recently as a means of improving the quality and efficiency of care for patients with chronic illness. These programs include education about disease, optimization of evidence-based medications, information and support from case managers, and institution of self-management principles. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Singapore and worldwide. DMP aims to reduce mortality, hospitalizations, and average length of stay in such patients. This study assesses the outcomes of the DMP, comparing the propensity score matched DMP patients with controls.
Methods: DMP patients were compared with the controls, who were COPD patients fulfilling the DMP’s inclusion criteria but not included in the program. Control patients were identified from Operations Data Store (ODS) database. The outcomes of interest were average length of stay, number of days admitted to hospital per 100 person days, readmission, and mortality rates per person year. The risk of death and readmission was estimated using Cox, and competing risk regression respectively. Propensity score was estimated to identify the predictors of DMP enrolment. DMP patients and controls were matched on their propensity score.
Results: There were 170 matched DMP patients and control patients having 287 and 207 hospitalizations respectively. Program patient had lower mortality than the controls (0.12 vs. 0.27 per person year); cumulative 1-year survival was 91% among program patient and 76% among the control patients. Readmission, and hospital days per 100 person-days was higher for the program patients (0.36 vs. 0.17 per person year), and (2.19 vs. 1.88 per person year) respectively.
Conclusions: Participation in “DMP” was associated with lower all-cause mortality when compared to the controls. This survival gain in the program patients was paradoxically associated with an increase in readmission rate and total hospital days.