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The m-PRTM Implementation Project

Northern Sydney Local Health District

  • Translational Research Grants Scheme
Date Funded:
  • 8 February, 2021
Chief Investigator/s:
  • Dr. Sally Wootton

Project summary

Digitally-Enabled Model of Care of Rehabilitation for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease – Implementation of the Mobile Pulmonary Rehabilitation App (m-PRTM)

What is the issue for NSW?

This research will address the need for increased availability of pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) which has one of the highest rates of preventable hospitalisation in NSW. PR is a comprehensive treatment consisting of exercise training and education. PR reduces COPD hospital admissions by 66% but access to PR is poor with <10% of the 2 million people with COPD in Australia having access. Mobile health technology is a novel way to expand rehabilitation services into the homes of people with COPD and is an innovative strategy to improve access to PR programs across NSW. The research team have developed a “mobile pulmonary rehabilitation” (m-PRTM) platform which is the first mobile PR app developed in Australia. This research will determine whether m-PRTM can be successfully implemented and be cost-effective, which will allow scale-up across NSW through the public healthcare system and primary health networks.

What does the research aim to do and how?

The research aims to determine, in people with COPD, whether pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) provided via a mobile app (m-PRTM) enables increased implementation of PR measured by program completion, improved patient quality of life and cost-effectiveness compared to centre-based PR. People with COPD from four NSW LHDs will be randomly allocated to a m-PRTM group (intervention, n=117) or centre-based PR group (control, n=117). The m-PRTM intervention will use a patient app and clinician web-based portal to provide PR exercise training and education, remote symptom monitoring, goal setting, medication support via action plans, text message alerts and weekly phone calls/videoconferencing.

The project will assess:

  1. Program outcomes: rates of program completion in both groups will be determined.
  2. Quality of Life: measured by the St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) and the EuroQol (EQ-5D-5L) to measure utilities and obtain Quality Adjusted Life Years.
  3. Economic evaluation: a detailed cost-effectiveness analysis of m-PRTM compared to centre-based PR will be conducted including analysis of a number of hospitalisation indicators (e.g. admissions, length of stay, 28 day re-admissions & 28 day return to emergency).