Heart transplant centers with multidisciplinary team show a higher level of chronic illness management – Findings from the International BRIGHT Study

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Abstract

Objectives

The objectives of this study were to: (1) explore the proportion of HTx centers that have a multidisciplinary team and (2) assess the relationship between multidisciplinarity and the level of chronic illness management (CIM).

Background

The International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) recommends a multidisciplinary approach in heart transplant (HTx) follow-up care but little is known regarding the proportion of HTx centers that meet this recommendation and the impact on patient care. HTx centers with a multidisciplinary team may offer higher levels of CIM, a care model that has the potential to improve outcomes after HTx.

Methods

We conducted a secondary analysis of the BRIGHT study, a cross-sectional study in 11 countries. Multidisciplinarity in the 36 HTx centers was assessed through HTx director reports and was defined as having a team that was composed of physician(s), nurse(s), and another healthcare professional (either a social worker, psychiatrist, psychologist, pharmacist, dietician, physical therapist, or occupational therapist). CIM was assessed with the Patient Assessment of Chronic Illness Care (PACIC). Multiple linear regression assessed the relationship between multidisciplinarity and the level of CIM.

Results

Twenty-nine (80.6%) of the HTx centers had a multidisciplinary team. Furthermore, multidisciplinarity was significantly associated with higher levels of CIM (β = 5.2, P = 0.042).

Conclusion

Majority of the HTx centers follows the ISHLT recommendation for a multidisciplinary approach. Multidisciplinarity was associated with CIM and point toward a structural factor that needs to be in place for moving toward CIM.

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