Clinical Practices Surrounding the Prescription of Home Oxygen in Patients With COPD and Desaturation

Sandra E. Zaeh, Meredith Case, David H. Au, Michele DaSilva, Karen Deitemeyer, Julie DeLisa, Laura C. Feemster, Lynn B. Gerald, Jerry A. Krishnan, Jennifer Sculley, Annette Woodruff, Michelle N. Eakin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: While home oxygen therapy increases survival in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who have severe resting hypoxemia, recent evidence suggests that there is no survival benefit of home oxygen for patients with COPD who have isolated exertional desaturation. We aimed to understand clinician practice patterns surrounding the prescription of home oxygen for patients with COPD. Methods: We conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews via videoconference with 15 physicians and 3 nurse practitioners who provide care for patients with COPD. Clinicians were recruited through the American Lung Association Airways Clinical Research Centers. Interview guides were created with the assistance of patient investigators and included questions regarding clinician practices surrounding the prescription of oxygen for patients with COPD and the use of clinical guidelines. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and coded for themes. Results: Of the 18 clinician interviewees, one-third were women, with most participants (n=11) being <50 years old. Results of the semi-structured interviews suggested research evidence, clinical experience, and patient preferences contributed to clinician decision-making. Most clinicians described a shared decision-making process for prescribing home oxygen for patients, including discussion of risks and benefits, and developing an understanding of patient values and preferences. Clinicians did not use a structured tool to conduct these conversations. Conclusion: Clinicians consider a number of patient and clinical factors when prescribing home oxygen therapy, often using a shared decision-making process. Tools to support shared decision-making about the use of home oxygen are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-354
Number of pages12
JournalChronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2023


  • obstructive lung disease
  • patient preferences
  • qualitative research
  • shared decision-making

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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