Readmission of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major problem within health systems. Each admission for exacerbation worsens the patient's quality of life and, at the same time, presents an economic challenge for the hospital centre. A study published in the European Respiratory Journal describes the usefulness of an integrated and coordinated intervention of primary health care and hospital health care. This work, which demonstrates the benefits of cooperation among several health care levels, has been led by Dr. Josep Roca and Mrs. Carme Hernndez, members of the IDIBAPS Physiopathological Mechanisms of the Respiratory Disease Group and of the Pneumology Unit of Hospital Clnic.
This study includes 150 patients, 65 of which receive integrated health care. Results show that more than a half of these patients do not need readmission, whereas 67% of patients receiving conventional health care are readmitted in hospital. Previous studies assessing home health care did not obtain conclusive results. The main limitations were the lack of standardisation of the interventions and the lack of homogeneity of patients. In this new work, highly precise criteria for the inclusion of patients have been defined, and intervention protocols have been highly detailed. Protocols were not identical in both countries participating in the study, what reinforces the positive results obtained. Differences among both countries have permitted to conclude that a higher number of home health care appointments does not imply better results on the health of patients. The Belgian system implied more home care assistance than the Catalan system, but no differences were observed in the results. This works is presented as a conclusion of the European project CHRONIC, a pioneer Europ
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IDIBAPS - Institut d'Investigacions Biomdiques August Pi i Sunyer