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Outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation – rehabilitation models and shortcomings in outpatient aftercare

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Author(s): Korczak, Dieter | Huber, Beate | Steinhauser, Gerlinde | Dietl, Markus

Journal: GMS Health Technology Assessment
ISSN 1861-8863

Volume: 6;
Start page: Doc11;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: COPD | chronic obstructive pulmonary disease | COAD | chronic obstructive airway disease | chronic obstructive lung disease | airway obstruction | chronic | chronic airway obstruction | airflow obstructions | chronic | chronic airflow obstruction | chronic airflow obstructions | chronic bronchitis | pulmonary emphysema | ventilation disorder | outpatient | outpatient clinics | hospital | policlinic | outpatient clinics | hospital | inpatient | inpatients | rehabilitation | rehabilitation centre | rehabilitation centres | rehabilitation center | rehabilitation centers | care | home-based | home care services | hospital-based | home care services | hospital-based | ambulatory care | ambulatory care facility | ambulatory care facilities | health care sector | managed care program | managed care programs | managed care programme | managed care programmes | cost-effectiveness | program effectiveness | effectiveness | cost | costs | life qualities | quality of life | respiratory apparatus | air passages | respiratory passages | respiratory tract | respiratory system | respiratory disease | respiratory infection | lung | respiration | breathing | aspiration | ventilation | aeration | alveolar ventilation | ventilating

ABSTRACT
Background: The chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and the bronchial asthma are widespread diseases. They need long-lasting and sustainable rehabilitation. Objectives: The goal of this HTA is to describe the present supply and the economic relevance of out-patient pulmonary rehabilitation in conjunction with its social aspects. A further target is to derivate options for actions in the health-care system and possible research necessities. Methods: Relevant publications are identified by means of a structured search in 37 database accessed through the German Institute of Medical Documentation and Information (DIMDI). In addition a manual search of identified reference lists has been done. The present report includes German and English literature published from 2004 to 2009. The methodological quality was assessed by two independent researchers according to pre-defined quality criteria of evidence based medicine. Results: Among 860 publications 31 medical studies, four economic studies and 13 ethical studies meet the inclusion criteria. The studies cover rehabilitation programmes in 19 countries. The majority of them has a high level of evidence (1A to 2C). The pulmonary rehabilitation programmes differ by the setting (in-patient, out-patient, in-home, community-based), by the length of intervention (from two weeks to 36 months), by the way and the frequency of intervention and by the duration of the follow-up treatment. Overall out-patient rehabilitation programmes achieve the same positive effects for COPD patients as in-patient programmes do. This is especially true for physical performance and health related quality of life. There are only a few studies dealing with asthma. Therefore, valid statements cannot be given. The results for cost-effectiveness are not distinct enough. Discussion: Goals of pulmonary rehabilitation like prevention and adequate treatment of acute exacerbations, the minimisation of hospitalisation and the reduction of mortality are attained in out-patient as well as in in-patient pulmonary rehabilitation. Regarding the best frequency of training units per week or the duration and the content of a unit further research is needed. Final results for the ideal length of an in-patient rehabilitation are still missing. None of the studies deals with the analysis of the different treatment forms of a COPD which are frequently defined by an alteration of in-patient and out-patient treatments and participation in sports clubs or self-help groups. There are some other limitations of the studies. The results concerning self-management programmes are not distinct. (Self-) Selection leads to high drop-out rates. Many studies have only small sample sizes. Confounder and long-time effects are seldom researched, relevant economic evaluations do not exist The improvement of health related quality of life is primarily obtained by an improved disease management than by an improvement of a medical parameter. Conclusion: Out-patient pulmonary rehabilitation is as effective as in-patient pulmonary rehabilitation. But there is a critical shortage of out-patient pulmonary rehabilitation supply in Germany. Domains for further research are the evaluation of models for integrated care, the length, frequency and content of training programmes, psychiatric assessments and the cost-effectiveness of out-patient pulmonary rehabilitation.
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