Despite a survival benefit and guideline recommendation for β-blockers in left ventricular systolic dysfunction, β-blockers are underused in clinical practice.Methods
Medical practices with ≥15 patients with heart failure (HF) in the Duke Databank for Cardiovascular Disease (DDCD) were identified for a prospective, randomized study using a multifaceted intervention to improve β-blocker use. Intervention practices received provider education, patient education materials, feedback on β-blocker use of their patients with HF, and access to telephone consultation with an HF expert. The primary outcome was a comparison between intervention and control practices of the proportion of patients with HF self-reporting β-blocker use on their first routine DDCD follow-up in the postintervention year. A random effects model was used for the analysis.Results
Post intervention, 2631 patients (1701 in 23 intervention practices and 930 in 22 control practices) completed DDCD follow-up. No significant difference in the proportion of patients with HF reporting β-blocker use was found in the intervention versus control groups (OR 1.16, 95% CI 0.94–1.43, P = .2), although more patients in the intervention group started a β-blocker than stopped a β-blocker during the study period (P = .02).Conclusions
This multifaceted intervention did not significantly increase the mean proportion of patients taking β-blockers within practices exposed to the intervention, although favorable trends were observed. Further studies are needed to identify and evaluate strategies for translating evidence into clinical practice to reduce the global health burden associated with HF.