Background: COPD self-management is a complex behavior influenced by many factors. Despite scientific evidence that better disease outcomes can be achieved by enhancing self-management, many COPD patients do not respond to self-management interventions. To move toward more effective self-management interventions, knowledge of characteristics associated with activation for self-management is needed. The purpose of this study was to identify key patient and disease characteristics of activation for self-management.
Methods: An explorative cross-sectional study was conducted in primary and secondary care in patients with COPD. Data were collected through questionnaires and chart reviews. The main outcome was activation for self-management, measured with the 13-item Patient Activation Measure (PAM). Independent variables were sociodemographic variables, self-reported health status, depression, anxiety, illness perception, social support, disease severity, and comorbidities.
Results: A total of 290 participants (age: 67.2±10.3; forced expiratory volume in 1 second predicted: 63.6±19.2) were eligible for analysis. While poor activation for self-management (PAM-1) was observed in 23% of the participants, only 15% was activated for self-management (PAM-4). Multiple linear regression analysis revealed six explanatory determinants of activation for self-management (P,0.2): anxiety (β: -0.35; -0.6 to -0.1), illness perception (β: -0.2; -0.3 to -0.1), body mass index (BMI) (β: -0.4; -0.7 to -0.2), age (β: -0.1; -0.3 to -0.01), Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease stage (2 vs 1 β: -3.2; -5.8 to -0.5; 3 vs 1 β: -3.4; -7.1 to 0.3), and comorbidities (β: 0.8; -0.2 to 1.8), explaining 17% of the variance.
Conclusion: This study showed that only a minority of COPD patients is activated for self-management. Although only a limited part of the variance could be explained, anxiety, illness perception, BMI, age, disease severity, and comorbidities were identified as key determinants of activation for self-management. This knowledge enables health care professionals to identify patients at risk of inadequate self-management, which is essential to move toward targeting and tailoring of self-management interventions. Future studies are needed to understand the complex causal mechanisms toward change in self-management