Up to half of all smokers develop clinically significant chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Gaps exist in the implementation and uptake of evidence-based guidelines for managing COPD in primary care. We describe the methodology of a cluster randomised controlled trial (cRCT) evaluating the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of an interdisciplinary model of care aimed at reducing the burden of smoking and COPD in Australian primary care settings.
Methods and analysis
A cRCT is being undertaken to evaluate an interdisciplinary model of care (RADICALS — Review of Airway Dysfunction and Interdisciplinary Community-based care of Adult Long-term Smokers). General practice clinics across Melbourne, Australia, are identified and randomised to the intervention group (RADICALS) or usual care. Patients who are current or ex-smokers, of at least 10 pack years, including those with an existing diagnosis of COPD, are being recruited to identify 280 participants with a spirometry-confirmed diagnosis of COPD. Handheld lung function devices are being used to facilitate case-finding. RADICALS includes individualised smoking cessation support, home-based pulmonary rehabilitation and home medicines review. Patients at control group sites receive usual care and Quitline referral, as appropriate. Follow-ups occur at 6 and 12 months from baseline to assess changes in quality of life, abstinence rates, health resource utilisation, symptom severity and lung function. The primary outcome is change in St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire score of patients with COPD at 6 months from baseline.
Ethics and dissemination
This project has been approved by the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee and La Trobe University Human Ethics Committee (CF14/1018 – 2014000433). Results of the study will be disseminated in peer-reviewed journals and research conferences. If the intervention is successful, the RADICALS programme could potentially be integrated into general practices across Australia and sustained over time.
Trial registration number