Palliative Telecare Team Aids QOL, Health Status for Chronic Conditions

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

Findings observed for veterans with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart failure, or interstitial lung disease

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Jan. 23, 2024 (HealthDay News) — Use of a nurse and social worker palliative telecare team is associated with clinically meaningful improvements in quality of life at six months for adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart failure, or interstitial lung disease (ILD) versus usual care, according to a study published in the Jan. 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

David B. Bekelman, M.D., M.P.H., from the Eastern Colorado Health Care System in Aurora, and colleagues evaluated the effect of a nurse and social worker palliative telecare team on quality of life in outpatients with COPD, heart failure, and ILD versus usual care. The analysis included 306 participants randomly assigned to the intervention (six phone calls with a nurse for symptom management and six phone calls with a social worker for psychosocial care) or usual care.

The researchers reported that the mean length of intervention was 115.1 days and included a mean 10.4 intervention calls per patient. At six-month follow-up, the mean Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy–General (FACT-G) score improved 6.0 points in the intervention group versus 1.4 points in the usual care group (standardized mean difference, 0.41). The intervention was also associated with improved health status for COPD (standardized mean difference, 0.44), heart failure (0.41), depression (−0.50), and anxiety (−0.51).

“The virtual and population approach of this intervention lends itself to a hub and spoke model that can improve the reach of palliative care services to areas that may be traditionally underresourced,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed ties to relevant medical organizations.

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