A nurse-based strategy reduces heart failure morbidity in patients admitted for acute decompensated heart failure in Brazil: the HELEN-II clinical trial


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Abstract

AimsHome-based interventions for heart failure (HF) patients might be particularly effective in middle-income countries, where social, cultural, and economic constraints limit the effectiveness of HF treatment outside the hospital environment.Methods and resultsHELEN-II was a randomized clinical trial conducted in Brazil designed to evaluate the clinical efficacy of a nurse-based strategy, started after discharge following an acute decompensated HF (ADHF) admission. HELEN-II compares the efficacy of home visits and telephone reinforcement (n = 123) with that of the conventional strategy, which is based on medical follow-up (n = 129). The primary outcome was a composite endpoint of a first visit to the emergency department (≤24 h), a hospital readmission (>24 h), or all-cause death, assessed during the first 6 months of follow-up. Most enrolled subjects were middle-aged (62 ± 13 years) males (63%) in NYHA functional class II–III (84%) with severe LV dysfunction (mean LVEF 29.6 ± 9%). The primary composite endpoint was decreased by 27% in the interventional group (relative risk 0.73; 95% confidence interval 0.54–0.99; P = 0.049). At the end of follow-up, the rate of use of the standard-of-care HF medications was similar in both groups, except for the higher use of furosemide in the interventional group. Also, HF knowledge and self-care were significantly increased in the interventional group.ConclusionsA post-discharge, nurse-led management strategy significantly decreases the morbidity of ADHF patients in the public health system of a developing middle-income country.Trial registrationNCT01213875

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