Tele-assistance in chronic respiratory failure patients: a randomised clinical trial

Partners/ AuthorsM Vitacca, L Bianchi, A Guerra, C Fracchia, A Spanevello, B Balbi, S Scalvini
Start & end date2008
FocusThe aim of the present study was to primarily evaluate reduction in hospitalisations and, secondly, exacerbations, general practitioner (GP) calls and related costeffectiveness of teleassistance (TA) for these patients.
OutcomeNo anthropometric and clinical differences were found between groups both in baseline and in mortality (18% for TA, 23% for controls). Compared with controls, the TA group experienced significantly fewer hospitalisations (-36%), urgent GP calls (-65%) and acute exacerbations (-71%). After deduction of TA costs, the average overall cost for each patient was 33% less than that for usual care. In chronic respiratory failure patients on oxygen or home mechanical ventilation, a nurse-centred tele-assistance prevents hospitalisations while it is cost-effective. The chronic obstructive pulmonary disease group seems to have a greater advantage from tele-assistance.