A single home visit to patients with severe asthma or COPD may significantly improve patient adherence with office visits and inhaler use and may reduce severe exacerbations requiring emergency department visits.

As part of the Integrated Disease Management Program of UCSF Fresno Center for Medical Education and Research, a single home visit was provided to 60 patients who were noncompliant to office visits as well as patients with uncontrolled symptoms. After a single home visit there was a significant increase in compliance with office visits in the year following, increasing from 68 to 133 visits.

Similarly, ED visits decreased by 40 percent and to maintenance inhaler use increased from 22 percent to 65 percent. However, the intervention did not appear to reduce the number of hospital admissions.

"Ensuring the health of patients who do not show up for their office visits can be difficult," says Dr. Vipul Jain, medical director for the program at UCSF-Fresno. "Making a single home visit to noncompliant patients not only increases their adherence but also decreases their visits to the emergency department, suggesting improved control of the disease."

Further study results will be shared at CHEST Annual Meeting 2016 in Los Angeles on Monday, October 24, from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Room 410. The study abstract can be viewed on the website of the journal CHEST.

More information: D Richard Allison et al, A Single Home Visit Improves Patient Adherence and Reduces Exacerbations in Patients With Severe Asthma and COPD, Chest (2016). DOI: 10.1016/j.chest.2016.08.018

Journal information: Chest