Randomised controlled studies (RCTs), observational studies and case reports that initially administered antithrombotic treatment partially (early discharge) or totally at home in patients with symptomatic pulmonary embolism were eligible for inclusion. Outcomes of interest were short-term (first week or until low-molecular weight heparin was administered) and long-term (≥3 months) all-cause mortality, death from pulmonary embolism or major haemorrhage, recurrent venous thromboembolism and major bleeding.
Included studies were conducted between 2000 and 2007. Where reported, mean age of patients ranged from 54.6 to 66.4 years. Some studies included only cancer patients. Treatment included administration of dalteparin and warfarin, unfractionated heparin followed by dalteparin and warfarin, nadroparin-phenprocoumon, fondaparinus-vitamin K antagonist, tinzaparin-warfarin, tinzaparin/nadroparin-warfarin, low-molecular weight heparin alone or with warfarin and enoxaparin/nadroparin-warfarin. Patients, home care nurses or a family member administered low-molecular weight heparin. Patients were telephoned regularly or were supervised inside or outside the home setting, or had a 24 hours emergency contact number. Exclusion criteria differed between studies.
Two reviewers selected studies for inclusion. Disagreements were resolved through discussion or referral to a third reviewer.