Background: Despite the benefits of home oxygen therapy in patients suffering chronic respiratory failure, previous reports in Korea revealed lower compliance to oxygen therapy and a shorter time for oxygen use than expected. However, these papers were published before oxygen therapy was covered by the national insurance system. Therefore, this study examined whether there were some changes in compliance, using time and other clinical features of home oxygen therapy after insurance coverage. Methods: This study reviewed the medical records of patients prescribed home oxygen therapy in our hospital from November 1, 2006 to September 31, 2008. The patients were interviewed either in person or by telephone to obtain information related to oxygen therapy. Results: During study period, a total 105 patients started home oxygen therapy. The mean age was 69 and 60 (57%) were male. The mean oxygen partial pressure in the arterial blood was 54.5 mmHg and oxygen saturation was 86.3%. Primary diseases that caused hypoxemia were COPD (n=64), lung cancer (n=l4), Tb destroyed lung (n=12) and others. After oxygen therapy, more than 50% of patients experienced relief of their subjective dyspnea. The mean daily use of oxygen was 9.8 ±7.3 hours and oxygen was not used during activity outside of their home (mean time, 5.4±3.7 hours). Twenty four patients (36%) stopped using oxygen voluntarily 7±4.7 months after being prescribed oxygen and showed a less severe pulmonary and right heart function. The causes of stopping were subjective symptom relief (n=11), inconvenience (n=6) and others (7). Conclusion: The prescription of home oxygen has increased since national insurance started to cover home oxygen therapy. However, the mean time for using oxygen is still shorter than expected. During activity of outside their home, patients could not use oxygen due to the absence of portable oxygen. Overall, continuous education to change the misunderstandings about oxygen therapy, more economic support from national iasurance and coverage for portable oxygen are needed to extend the oxygen use time and maintain oxygen usage.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Home oxygen therapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Infectious Diseases