Objective: This study aims to a) analyze the prevalence of domiciliary oxygen therapy (DOT) in Mallorca, b) evaluate the cost effectiveness of the DOT monitoring unit, and c) determine the survival of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who are presently receiving DOT.
Method: When the DOT unit was created in April 1994, the situation of all patients receiving DOT in Mallorca was assessed in a transversal study. Over the next three years, these patients were reassessed regularly and all new prescriptions were evaluated (longitudinal study).
Results: Before the unit began work, DOT was prescribed for 71 out of 100,000 inhabitants. DOT was withdrawn from 31% of patients assessed in the transversal study. By the end of the longitudinal study, DOT was being prescribed at a rate of 56 times per 10,000 inhabitants. The activities of the DOT unit brought about annual savings of approximately 38 million pesetas. The number of patients with liquid oxygen and concentrators increased such that the latter has become the main delivery system. The survival of COPD patients with DOT in this study seems to be longer than report.
Conclusions: a) The prevalence of DOT use in Mallorca before the DOT unit began operating was too high. b) The cost effectiveness of DOT monitoring is positive because DOT use has been optimized and significant savings have ensued (= 38 millions pesetas/year). c) The survival of COPD patients receiving DOT at present appears better than that reported in the literature, possibly related to the greater efficacy of modern treatment.