Introduction: The aim of this study was to estimate the costs related to hospitalisation for exacerbations of COPD in patients who received domiciliary rehabilitation.
Methods: The hospital costs (obtained from the health insurance office of Bayonne) of 31 patients suffering from COPD of all stages, were analysed for the year of rehabilitation and for the preceding year. All the patients had access to the same management programme in a health care system: domiciliary bicycle ergometry, collective gymnastics, dietary advice, psychological support and education.
Results: The analysis of the costs of respiratory care revealed two populations: a minority in whom costs were increased (two end of life situations requiring palliative care and two severe episodes requiring intensive care), and a majority in whom domiciliary rehabilitation led to a reduction of over 60% in the costs related to hospitalisation.
Conclusions: Respiratory rehabilitation reduces the costs of hospitalisation secondary to exacerbations in patients suffering from COPD but does not reduce the high costs related to severe episodes of respiratory failure or terminal care. It is important that rehabilitation is adapted to the needs of each patient until the end of his life.
Copyright © 2011 SPLF. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.