Elderly, multimorbid patients with advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and/or chronic heart failure (CHF) exhibit poor health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Telemonitoring, based on digital pen technology, supported by hospital-based home care (HBHC) significantly reduces the number of hospitalizations. We hypothesized that the same intervention would prevent the deterioration of HRQoL that follows upon disease progression.
Elderly computer-illiterate subjects with ≥2 hospitalizations the previous year were included. HRQoL was assessed at inclusion (baseline) and at 1, 6 and 12 months employing EuroQol-5 Dimensions (EQ-5D) and RAND-36 for general HRQoL, and Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire (MLHFQ) and St. Georges Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) for disease-specific HRQoL. Healthcare contacts, hospitalizations, as-needed medications, prescription changes and healthcare costs were registered.
Ninety-four patients were enrolled of which 53 subjects completed the 12-month study period. Compared to baseline, most domains of RAND-36 were improved significantly at 1 time-point or more. Only among COPD subjects, the disease-specific HRQoL was worsened at the 12 month evaluation. Measures of healthcare dependency were associated with poor HRQoL.