Characteristics of long-term home oxygen therapy users in the municipality of Curitiba, Brazil

Demetria Kovelis, Paôla Luma Cruz, Lígia Inez Silva, Juan Ricardo Sierra, Paulo Roberto de Miranda Sandoval, Silvia Valderramas


Introduction: Long-term home oxygen therapy (LTOT) can be used successfully in the treatment and prevention of chronic lung diseases as it improves quality of life, increases survival and reduces the duration of hospital stays. However, to the authors’ knowledge there are no descriptive studies with details of the clinical and social profile of patients using LTOT in the state of Paraná. Objective: To analyze the profile of users of the LTOT in the state of Paraná. Methods: All registered users of the Curitiba Municipal Department of Health LTOT program were recruited to the study. Participants answered a questionnaire with questions about their level of education, family income, main diagnosis, comorbidities, hours/daily of O2 and hospitalizations in the previous year. Results: 386 patients (67±20.4 years; 66% females) were interviewed. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was the most common disease (58.5%); 60.6% were former smokers and 84.5% did not do any type of physical activity; dyspnea was the most common symptom (81.3%) and immobility was the most commonly reported inconvenience (33%); 55.7% used O2 24 hours a day; 53.6% had been hospitalized in the previous year; 33.9% had not completed primary school; 31.4% had an income of one minimum monthly wage or less. Conclusion: LTOT users in Curitiba are primarily elderly women with COPD, a low family income and limited schooling. It is extremely important that health professionals provide educational and preventive measures for this population to minimize the impact of COPD in the community.

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