A community model of group therapy for the older patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A pilot study

Jean Woo, Wayne Chan, Fai Yeung, Wai Man Chan, Elsie Hui, Christopher M. Lum, Kevin H. Or, David S.C. Hui, Diana T.F. Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: A community-based programme for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients in group sessions is designed, and the feasibility, acceptability and physical and psychosocial outcomes evaluated. Methods: Patients with COPD discharged from hospital, or those attending specialist outpatient clinic, with a history of hospital admission owing to COPD in the preceding 12 months were recruited. Those who had malignancy or were housebound were excluded. Group sessions were arranged once a week in a Community Centre, and consisted of two hourly sessions. The components of each session consist of education regarding the disease, breathing techniques, use of oxygen and other medication, smoking cessation, nutrition, dyspnoea management skills, relaxation and energy conservation techniques, introduction of social and community support, and strengthening as well as aerobic exercises. Assessments before and after intervention include lung function, 6 minutes walk test (6MWT), general Health Questionnaire (GHQ), the St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), and a COPD knowledge Questionnaire. A programme evaluation was carried out using questionnaire and group discussions. Results: Forty-four subjects were recruited, with 75% completing the programme, and 20% with drawing for unavoidable reasons. Statistically significant improvement was noted in all domains of the GHQ, SGRQ, and knowledge test, while the mean 6MWT improved, although statistical significance was not reached. Subjects were enthusiastic about the provision of this service in helping them cope with the disease through empowerment and mutual support. Conclusion: A group community intervention programme for COPD patients is feasible and acceptable, with positive psychosocial outcomes. Such a model could be further developed and cost-effectiveness evaluated as a model of chronic disease management in the community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-531
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Community management
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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