The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

1996 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

Can You Say 'Quality of Life' and Prove It?

Gretchen Lawrence, BA, RRT Monday, November 4, 1996

As the U.S. health care system undergoes its greatest restructuring since the advent of Medicare, the providers of care have been challenged to prove that the services we provide are appropriate and cost-justified. This is true not only for acute care, but also for care provided in non-acute ambulatory care settings such as outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation (PR). We must be prepared to measure both short- and long-term outcomes of the medical interventions we provide in PR. It may seem that cost is the only outcome measure that payers understand. But there are quality of life measures - many of which can translate in direct or indirect cost savings - that we must build into our PR programs.

The Continuing Care - Rehabilitation section recognized an opportunity to measure quality of life by accessing a large cohort of patients from PR programs around the country. We will describe the process - from study design to instrument choice to program selection - that allowed this one year multi-center outcomes study to produce over 350 pre/post PR program data sets that will help to validate PR as an appropriate intervention for properly selected candidates.

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