Exercise training in recently hospitalized heart failure patients enrolled in a disease management programme: design of the EJECTION-HF randomized controlled trial


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Abstract

AimsThe Exercise Joins Education: Combined Therapy to Improve Outcomes in Newly-discharged Heart Failure (EJECTION-HF) study will evaluate the impact of a supervised exercise training programme (ETP) on clinical outcomes in recently hospitalized heart failure patients attending a disease management programme (DMP).MethodsThis multisite, pragmatic randomized controlled trial enrols patients discharged from participating hospitals with clinical evidence of heart failure who are willing and able to participate in a DMP and considered clinically safe to exercise. Enrolment includes participants with impaired and preserved left ventricular systolic function. Baseline assessment and programme commencement occur within 6 weeks of hospital discharge. The control group DMP includes individualized education and follow-up from a multidisciplinary heart failure team; a weekly education programme for 12 weeks; self-management advice; and medical follow-up. Home exercise is recommended for all participants. In addition, intervention participants are offered 36 supervised, structured gym-based 1 h exercise sessions over 24 weeks. Sessions are tailored to exercise capacity and include aerobic, resistance, and balance exercises. Enrolment target is 350 participants. Primary outcome is 12-month mortality and readmissions. Secondary outcomes include blinded evaluation of depressive symptoms, sleep quality, cognition, and functional status (activities of daily living, 6 min walk distance, grip strength) at 3 and 6 months. A cost–utility analysis will be conducted.ConclusionThis study will enrol a representative group of hospitalized heart failure patients and measure a range of patient and health service outcomes to inform the design of post-hospital DMPs for heart failure. Enrolment will be completed in 2013.Trial registration: ACTRN12608000263392

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