Patient-Assessed Quality of Virtual Consultations as Follow-Up on Long-Term Oxygen Therapy for Patients With COPD

Hannah Clement Schmidt, Helle Marie Christensen

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


BACKGROUND: Long-term oxygen therapy (LTOT) can increase survival time and relieve symptom burden in patients with COPD and chronic hypoxemia. The Department of Respiratory Medicine at Odense University Hospital invites patients with LTOT and COPD to the out-patient clinic for treatment evaluation every 6 months to regulate or terminate treatment and support patients' treatment adherence. The out-patient clinic, however, experiences many absences or cancellations from patients. For that reason, patients were offered virtual consultation as an alternative to physical attendance. This study was initiated to uncover reasons for absences and the patients' experiences of virtual consultation to promote a more patient-centered clinical practice for patients with COPD and LTOT.

METHODS: A qualitative study encompassing semi-structured interviews with 20 subjects was conducted in the winter of 2021. The subjects had tried or been given the opportunity of virtual consultation. Data were analyzed inspired by Kvale and Brinkmann focusing on the subject's perspectives on virtual consultation.

RESULTS: The analysis resulted in 3 main themes: limitations and vulnerabilities, independence and quality of life, and personal strategies. Subjects expressed that everyday life with LTOT and COPD was characterized by limited resources in terms of energy, oxygen, and time. LTOT was perceived as a necessary means to maintain a sense of independence and quality of life. However, LTOT also meant additional limitations due to cumbersome equipment and feelings of isolation. Most subjects considered the virtual consultation to be oxygen-, energy-, and time-preserving, as it meant avoiding stressful transportation and handling of oxygen cylinders, COVID-19 exposure, waiting time, and not having to involve others for help.

CONCLUSIONS: The subjects' perspective showed that follow-up on LTOT as a virtual consultation was considered a valuable offer. The chosen method was found to be relevant in uncovering subjects' attitudes toward clinical practice procedures.

TidsskriftRespiratory Care
Udgave nummer8
Sider (fra-til)1097-1105
StatusUdgivet - aug. 2023


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