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OBJECTIVES: To investigate the cost-effectiveness of a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) disease management (COPD-DM) programme in primary care, called RECODE, compared to usual care. DESIGN: A 2-year cluster-randomised controlled trial. SETTING: 40 general practices in the western part of the Netherlands. PARTICIPANTS: 1086 patients with COPD according to GOLD (Global Initiative for COPD) criteria. Exclusion criteria were terminal illness, cognitive impairment, alcohol or drug misuse and inability to fill in Dutch questionnaires. Practices were included if they were willing to create a multidisciplinary COPD team. INTERVENTIONS: A multidisciplinary team of caregivers was trained in motivational interviewing, setting up individual care plans, exacerbation management, implementing clinical guidelines and redesigning the care process. In addition, clinical decision-making was supported by feedback reports provided by an ICT programme. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: We investigated the impact on health outcomes (quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), Clinical COPD Questionnaire, St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire and exacerbations) and costs (healthcare and societal perspective). RESULTS: The intervention costs were €324 per patient. Excluding these costs, the intervention group had €584 (95% CI €86 to €1046) higher healthcare costs than did the usual care group and €645 (95% CI €28 to €1190) higher costs from the societal perspective. Health outcomes were similar in both groups, except for 0.04 (95% CI -0.07 to -0.01) less QALYs in the intervention group. CONCLUSIONS: This integrated care programme for patients with COPD that mainly included professionally directed interventions was not cost-effective in primary care. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: Netherlands Trial Register NTR2268.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Open

Publication Date





HEALTH ECONOMICS, PRIMARY CARE, RESPIRATORY MEDICINE (see Thoracic Medicine), Aged, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Disease Management, Female, General Practice, Health Care Costs, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Motivational Interviewing, Netherlands, Patient Care Team, Primary Health Care, Program Evaluation, Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive, Quality of Life, Quality-Adjusted Life Years, Surveys and Questionnaires