Mechanical ventilation in chronic respiratory insufficiency: report on an Italian nationwide survey. The Italian Telethon Committee and the AIPO Study Group on Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Intensive Care

Monaldi Arch Chest Dis. 1998 Aug;53(4):394-9.


Respiratory home care is an important aspect of rehabilitation programmes designed for patients needing long-term mechanical ventilation. Many differences have emerged between countries in the long-term care of these patients, depending on the different ways of supplying material, managing patients and providing equipment. The results of analysis of the data obtained in a preliminary survey carried out in 1995-1996 among 115 Italian centres operating in the field of home mechanical ventilation are presented. A questionnaire (all closed-circuit items) consisting of two sections (the first epidemiological, and the second methodological and economic) was sent to all centres. Fifty-seven out of 115 (50%) centres responded to the questionnaire, with a prevalence of responses from the north of Italy (37 centres). The responding centres had been working in this field for a mean period of 6 +/- 3 yrs, and a total of 1,842 patients were surveyed. The analysis focuses on the prevalence of treated diseases, methods of mechanical ventilation, regulation of prescription, evaluations carried out during follow-up, supply of equipment, costs and reimbursement, and relations with volunteer associations. A more thorough approach to all the problems emerging from this Italian survey regarding candidates for home mechanical ventilation is warranted. A more detailed comparative analysis of indications, management and costs vis-à-vis other countries should contribute towards achieving maximum uniformity of standards throughout Europe.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Health Care Surveys*
  • Home Nursing*
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration
  • Respiration, Artificial*
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / therapy*