Specialist Nurse-Led Intervention in Outpatients with Congestive Heart Failure: Impact on Clinical and Economic Outcomes
Nicholas D. Palmer
Erwin A. Rodrigues
Congestive heart failure (CHF) encompasses a spectrum of clinical syndromes and presentations. It affects 1-2% of the population in the UK and is associated with significant mortality which is comparable to most cancers. It accounts for more than 5% of adult medical admissions in the UK, with significant annual re-admission rates. Improved understanding of the pathophysiology of CHF has resulted in significant advancements in CHF management. Current pharmacologic agents, such as ACE inhibitors, beta-adrenoceptor antagonists and spironolactone, influence symptoms and improve mortality. Despite this, many patients still require hospitalization. Multiple, potentially reversible factors are involved which, if addressed effectively, may result in significant reductions in re-admission rates. Patients with CHF often have other conditions, such as respiratory disease, resulting in prolonged lengths of stay. Suboptimal care and failure to adhere to management guidelines is also a preventable cause for re-admission. There has been an increasing need to develop adjunctive, non-pharmacologic strategies for managing CHF, which are designed to improve the patient
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