Background: Increasing numbers of patients are living with multiple, chronic medical conditions and functional impairments that leave them homebound. Home-based primary and palliative care (HBPC) programs provide access to health care services for this vulnerable population. Homebound patients have high symptom burden upon program enrollment. Yet little is known as to how individual symptoms are managed at home, especially over longer time periods. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine whether high symptom burden decreases following HBPC enrollment. Methods: All patients newly enrolled in an HBPC program who reported at least one symptom on the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS) were eligible for telephone ESAS follow-up. Patients received a comprehensive initial home visit and assessment by a physician with subsequent follow-up care, interdisciplinary care management including social work, and urgent in-home care as necessary. Multivariate linear mixed models with repeated measures were used to assess the impact of HBPC on pain, depression, anxiety, tiredness, and loss of appetite among patients with moderate to severe symptom levels at baseline. Results: One hundred forty patients were followed. Patient pain, anxiety, depression, and tiredness significantly decreased following intervention with symptom reductions seen at 3 weeks and maintained at 12 weeks. (p<0.01) Loss of appetite trended toward an overall significant decrease and showed significant reductions at 12 week follow-up. Conclusion: In a chronically ill population of urban homebound, patient symptoms can be successfully managed in the home. Future work should continue to explore symptom assessment and management over time for the chronically ill homebound.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1048-1054
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Palliative Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2013


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