It was postulated that home hospitalisation (HH) of selected chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations admitted at the emergency room (ER) could facilitate a better outcome than conventional hospitalisation. To this end, 222 COPD patients (3.2% female; 71±10 yrs (mean±SD)) were randomly assigned to HH (n=121) or conventional care (n=101). During HH, integrated care was delivered by a specialised nurse with the patient's free-phone access to the nurse ensured for an 8-week follow-up period. Mortality (HH: 4.1%; controls: 6.90%) and hospital readmissions (HH: 0.24±0.57; controls: 0.38±0.70) were similar in both groups. However, at the end of the follow-up period, HH patients showed: 1) a lower rate of ER visits (0.13±0.43 versus 0.31±0.62); and 2) a noticeable improvement of quality of life (Δ St George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), -6.9 versus -2.4). Furthermore, a higher percentage of patients had a better knowledge of the disease (58% versus 27%), a better self-management of their condition (81% versus 48%), and the patient's satisfaction was greater. The average overall direct cost per HH patient was 62% of the costs of conventional care, essentially due to fewer days of inpatient hospitalisation (1.7±2.3 versus 4.2±4.1 days). A comprehensive home care intervention in selected chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbations appears as cost effective. The home hospitalisation intervention generates better outcomes at lower costs than conventional care.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Healthcare costs
- Healthcare services
- Home care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine