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The treatment burden of long-term home noninvasive ventilation

The prevalence of long-term homeĀ noninvasive ventilation (NIV) has progressively increased over recent decades, supported by evidence of clinical effectiveness in a range of conditions leading to chronic respiratory failure. Simultaneous technological developments have improved the reliability, portability, and comfort of devices, making NIV increasingly accessible and acceptable as a treatment option. Clinicians are usually fully cognisant of the clinical outcomes they anticipate when recommending or initiating long-term NIV, for example prolonging life, preventing complications or healthcare utilisation, and/or improving symptoms. The evidence on key clinical outcomes is variable between conditions but is comprehensively evaluated in relevant clinical guidelines; traditionally less emphasis is placed on the potential practical and psychosocial implications of domiciliary NIV. However, the preferences, values and resources of individuals can have a significant impact on NIV usage and therefore may affect potential clinical benefit. This editorial discusses the healthcare-associated workload, also known as the treatment burden, of domiciliary NIV that may be shouldered by patients, their families and caregivers, justifying why the cost/benefit ratio must be carefully considered on an individual basis.

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