Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are two major chronic conditions that impact the lives of millions of Americans. Separately, COPD and OSA contribute to the morbidity and mortality of hundreds of thousands of Americans every year, but OSA is prevalent in 10-15 percent of COPD patients in what is called overlap syndrome (OS). People with OS have an increased risk of death and more hospitalizations from complications of the diseases. Positive airway pressure therapy (PAP) and oxygen are two effective treatments for OS, but many people do not use them as prescribed and are not educated on good self-management practices. O2VERLAP is driven by a group of patient stakeholders who are motivated to participate in patient-centered research that will inform better healthcare decisions and improve outcomes that matter the most to patients while exploring ways to build PCORnet’s infrastructure through the conduct of exciting studies. The primary goal of O2VERLAP is to test the effectiveness of two strategies designed to improve adherence and patient outcomes in patients who use oxygen and PAP therapy: a proactive two-way interactive web-based platform guided by a peer and pro coach and a reactive referral to the same educational content without the support and two-way interaction. O2VERLAP will also collaborate with other PCORnet groups and external stakeholders to explore new models for stakeholder engagement, the use of new technologies, crowdsourcing methods in order to build PCO, and more.
O2VERLAP results will provide answers for clinicians seeking the best ways to remove barriers to treatment adherence and strategies for providing efficient educational and coaching platforms. The results will also help patients understand the benefits of their treatment. Additionally, the findings will help provide guidance for using social media, peer-to-peer support, and viral messaging to help recruit and enroll new participants, with the ultimate goal of improving the patient infrastructure for PCORnet and its Commons.
Collaboration within PCORnet unveiled the significant commonalities among many communities, especially COPD and OSA, such as breathing difficulties, anxiety, and depression, and the similar challenges faced in creating research infrastructure. O2VERLAP will contribute great insights to help directly address these challenges facing PCORnet networks: recruitment, retention, co-enrollment, collaboration, and sustainability. We have assembled a robust group of partners that are committed to participating in O2VERLAP to prioritize outcomes, develop the study protocols, cross recruit for the study, and create practical study dissemination strategies in addition to exploring best practices for cross-network governance structures, enrollment, data sharing, and more.