This study describes how hospital-at-home care (HHC) use by persons with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (PWA) has changed since the introduction of combination antiretroviral therapy (ART). For this study, all adult PWA (877) admitted for the first time to the HHC program, established for PWAs in the metropolitan area of Rome, between January 1994 and December 1998, were enrolled. Temporal changes in sociodemographic and clinical characteristics were evaluated. For subjects who concluded their first HHC cycle (851/877), the reasons for ending the service were assessed over time. From 1994 to 1998, the proportion of patients admitted to HHC of those living with AIDS in the Rome area decreased significantly (from 15.1% to 7.5%), while the median CD4+ cell count at HHC entry increased significantly. The proportion of patients referred to outpatient services at the end of their cycle of HHC increased sevenfold from 1994 to 1998, with a steep increase between 1996 and 1997. In multivariate analysis, only the use of triple-combination ART was significantly associated with referral to outpatient care (odds ratio [OR] = 4.26; 95%, confidence interval [CI] = 1.94-9.34). The results suggest that HHC use by PWAs in the ART era has diminished, while the HHC use pattern has also changed: there is a growing tendency to provide care to patients with less advanced human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease, prior to the beneficial effects of drugs, and the consequent referral to outpatient care.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Leadership and Management