e-Vita COPD: design of the study

COPD is a highly complex disease to manage as patients show great variation in symptoms and limitations in daily life. In the last decade self-management support of COPD has been introduced as an effective method to improve quality and efficiency of care, and to reduce healthcare costs. Despite the urge to change the organisation of health care and the potential of eHealth to support this, large-scale implementation in daily practice remains behind, especially in the Netherlands. We designed a multilevel study, called e-Vita, to investigate different organisational implementation methods of a self-management web portal to support and empower patients with COPD in three different primary care settings. The different implementations and net benefits of self-management through eHealth on clinical outcomes will be evaluated. To our knowledge this is the first study to combine different study designs that enable simultaneous investigation of clinical effects, as well as effects of different organisational implementation methods whilst controlling for confounding effects of the organisational characteristics. We hypothesize that an implementation with higher levels of personal assistance, and integrated in an existing care program will result in increased use of the platform, thereby increasing health status.