Project EPIC (Empowering People to Independence in COPD): Study protocol for a hybrid effectiveness-implementation pilot randomized controlled trial of telephonic, geriatrics-palliative care nurse-coaching in older adults with COPD and their family caregivers

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Contemporary Clinical Trials


Background: EPIC (Empowering People to Independence in COPD) is a geriatric-palliative care telephonic, nurse coach intervention informed by Baltes' Theory of Successful Aging and adapted from the ENABLE (Educate, Nurture, Advise, Before Life Ends) intervention. EPIC, focused on improving independence, mobility, well-being, and COPD symptoms, has undergone formative and summative evaluation for adults with COPD. Methods: The primary study aim is to assess the refined EPIC intervention's feasibility and acceptability via a pilot hybrid effectiveness-implementation randomized control trial in community-dwelling older adults with moderate to severe COPD and their family caregivers. The secondary aim is to explore the impact of EPIC on patient and caregiver outcomes. Older adults with COPD and their family caregivers (target N = 60 dyads) will be randomized to EPIC (intervention) or usual COPD care (control). EPIC includes six patient and four family caregiver weekly, telephone-based nurse coach sessions using a manualized curriculum (Charting Your Course), plus three monthly follow-up calls. Feasibility will be measured as completion of EPIC intervention and trial components (e.g., recruitment, retention, data collection). Acceptability will be evaluated using satisfaction surveys and post-study feedback interviews. A blinded data collector will assess exploratory outcomes (e.g., Life-Space mobility, quality of life, caregiver burden, emotional symptoms, loneliness, cognitive impairment, functional status, healthcare utilization) at baseline, 12, and 24 weeks. Discussion: This intervention fills a gap in addressing the geriatrics and palliative care needs and equity for adults with COPD and their family caregivers. Trial Identifier: NCT05040386

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