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Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 2016, Article ID 6547180, 10 pages
Review Article

Clinical Outcomes Associated with Home Mechanical Ventilation: A Systematic Review

1Division of Critical Care Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2B7
2Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2R3
3Division of Respirology and Respiratory Rehabilitation Services, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada T6G 2R3

Received 29 May 2015; Accepted 23 August 2015

Copyright © 2016 Erika J. MacIntyre et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. The prevalence of patients supported with home mechanical ventilation (HMV) for chronic respiratory failure has increased. However, the clinical outcomes associated with HMV are largely unknown. Methods. We performed a systematic review of studies evaluating patients receiving HMV for indications other than obstructive lung disease, reporting at least one clinically relevant outcome including health-related quality of life (HRQL) measured by validated tools; hospitalization requirements; caregiver burden; and health service utilization. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, the Cochrane library, clinical trial registries, proceedings from selected scientific meetings, and bibliographies of retrieved citations. Results. We included 1 randomized control trial (RCT) and 25 observational studies of mixed methodological quality involving 4425 patients; neuromuscular disorders (NMD) (); restrictive thoracic diseases (RTD) (); obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS) (); and others (). HRQL was generally described as good for HMV users. Mental rather than physical HRQL domains were rated higher, particularly where physical assessment was limited. Hospitalization rates and days in hospital appear to decrease with implementation of HMV. Caregiver burden associated with HMV was generally high; however, it is poorly described. Conclusion. HRQL and need for hospitalization may improve after establishment of HMV. These inferences are based on relatively few studies of marked heterogeneity and variable quality.