Costs of pulmonary rehabilitation and predictors of adherence in the National Emphysema Treatment Trial.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


COPD, Volume 5, Issue 2, p.105-16 (2008)


2008, 258, Aged, Counseling, Exercise Therapy, Female, Forced Expiratory Volume, Humans, Male, Patient Compliance, Patient Education as Topic, Pulmonary Emphysema


This study reports the costs associated with rehabilitation among participants in the National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT), and evaluates factors associated with adherence to rehabilitation. Pulmonary rehabilitation is recommended for moderate-to-severe COPD and required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) prior to lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS). Between January 1998 and July 2002, 1,218 subjects with emphysema and severe airflow limitation (FEV(1) < or = 45% predicted) were randomized. Primary outcome measures were designated as mortality and maximal exercise capacity 2 years after randomization. Pre-randomization, estimated mean total cost per patient of rehabilitation was $2,218 (SD $314; 2006 dollars) for the medical group and $2,187 (SD $304) for the surgical group. Post-randomization, mean cost per patient in the medical and surgical groups was $766 and $962 respectively. Among patients who attended > or = 1 post-randomization rehabilitation session, LVRS patients, patients with an FEV(1) > or = 20% predicted, and higher education were significantly more likely to complete rehabilitation. Patients with depressive and anxiety symptoms, and those who live > 36 miles compared to < 6 miles away were less likely to be adherent. Patients who underwent LVRS completed more exercise sessions than those in the medical group and were more likely to be adherent with post-randomization rehabilitation. A better understanding of patient factors such as socioeconomic status, depression, anxiety and transportation issues may improve adherence to pulmonary rehabilitation.