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Compliance with prophylaxis for respiratory syncytial virus infection in a home setting


The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal: April 2004 - Volume 23 - Issue 4 - p 318-322
Original Studies

Background. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common respiratory pathogen in infancy and childhood.

Objective. To compare the compliance and biologic efficacy of a home health care agency dosing-compliance program to treatment provided in a physician’s office setting during a single RSV season (November to May).

Methods. AAP guidelines were used to identify neonates who were eligible for RSV prophylaxis before discharge from a neonatal intensive care unit setting. Parents were asked to choose to receive the recommended treatment for their child either in their pediatrician’s office setting or through a sequence of periodic nursing visits to their home. All home health care records were reviewed for demographics, number of doses received and hospitalization rate. Pediatricians office records were surveyed by telephone interview of their office staff and parents. Compliance data were calculated based on actual monthly injections given during the RSV season.

Results. We followed prospectively 1446 infants who received palivizumab during a single RSV season (November 1, 2000 through April 30, 2001). Of these infants 67% (969 of 1446) received their monthly injections in the home setting where 98% of the doses were given on schedule. In contrast 477 infants (33%) received their injections in a pediatrician’s office (parent’s choice) with a compliance of only 89% for completion of all recommended doses (P < 0.001 vs. home setting). There were 9 RSV hospitalizations (0.93%) in the home setting group and 8 RSV hospitalizations (3.57%) in the office setting (P < 0.001). More parents indicated that the in-home prophylaxis program was more convenient than was true for those receiving treatment in the physician’s office setting (P < 0.01).

Conclusions. Better compliance with home injections was associated with a decrease in the hospitalization rate for RSV with a higher degree of parental satisfaction.

From the Regional Neonatal Center, Westchester Medical Center, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY (SGG, EFL); and Optimal Care of New York, Scotia, NY (FB).

Presented in part at the Eastern Society for Pediatric Research and at the Pediatric Academic Societies 2002 Annual Meeting.

Accepted for publication Dec. 9, 2003.

Address for reprints: Sergio G. Golombek, M.D., F.A.A.P., New York Medical College, The Regional Neonatal Center, Westchester Medical Center, Valhalla, NY 10595. Fax 914-493-1488; E-mail

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.