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Pediatr Pulmonol. 1991;11(4):310-7.

Outcome of home care for technology-dependent children: success of an independent, community-based case management model.

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Coordinating Center for Home and Community Care, Inc., Millersville, Maryland.


Case management is important for successful home care of technology-dependent, respiratory-disabled children. Traditionally, the medical model of hospital-based home care and case management has been used for these children. The outcome may be different from when using independent, community-based home care and case management. We evaluated the results of 28 technology-dependent children [23 receiving mechanical ventilation and 5 receiving continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)] from 8 hospitals, who utilized an independent, community-based, case management group to coordinate home care. After 26.3 +/- 20.6 months of follow-up, 13 children (46%) remained technology-dependent, 10 (36%) were technology-independent, and 5 (18%), all with neurologic dysfunction, had died. Only one death was caused by a complication of technology. All children with congenital anomalies (n = 4), primary pulmonary disease (n = 8), and neuromuscular disease (n = 4) survived, and 9 (56%) were weaned from technological support. Children with chronic respiratory failure secondary to central neurologic dysfunction (n = 12) did poorly: 5 died, 6 remained technology-dependent, and only 1 became independent of technology. Children with neuromuscular diseases tended to use less home care nursing at a lower home care cost. Parent satisfaction was high among those who responded (82%), indicating that the child, siblings, and family were better off with the child at home. These outcomes suggest that community-based home care and case management is a reasonable alternative to the hospital-based model.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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