Feasibility of a home care program in a pediatric hematology and oncology department. Results of the first year of activity at a single institution

Maurizio Miano, Luca Manfredini, Alberto Garaventa, Sara Fieramosca, Rita Tanasini, Monica Leimer, Daniela Trucco, Rossella Rossi, Riccardo Haupt, Giorgio Dini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background and Objectives. Giannina Gaslini Children's Hospital (GGCH) is a tertiary care hospital with an average of 100 new cancer diagnoses made each year. In April 2000, following preliminary analysis of the potential benefits, and the results of a questionnaire filled in by the parents attending the out-patient clinic, a Home Care (HC) program was started. Design and Methods. Children in stable, non-critical, clinical conditions requiring i.v. therapy, parenteral nutrition, transfusional support, blood examinations, and central venous catheter use training management, as well as terminally ill children needing palliative and support therapy were considered eligible for the program. Results. After one year of activity, 45 children, aged 1 month-19 years (median 3 years), requiring i.v. therapy and blood tests in 32 cases, central venous catheter use training in 5, and palliative care in 8, were treated at home. The median duration of assistance for each child was 19 days (range 1-172). An average of 4 patients per week were assisted for a total of 1,364 days. A total of 881 accesses at home replaced 551 and 330 out-patient and in-patient days of hospitalization, respectively. The average cost per patient given home care (2,936 €, range 150-20,700) resulted to be significantly lower than the average cost per patient hospitalized to undergo the same procedures (9,785€, range 350-96,750). Interpretation and Conclusions. The opportunity to reduce the frequency and duration of hospitalization represents an incalculable advantage for these children and their families. This report shows that home care is a feasible kind of assistance for children suffering from cancer, and reduces costs as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)637-642
Number of pages6
JournalHaematologica
Volume87
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Keywords

  • Home care
  • Pediatric hematology and oncology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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