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A specialist nurse intervention reduced readmissions in patients admitted to hospital with chronic heart failure

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 QUESTION: Can a specialist nurse intervention reduce mortality and morbidity in patients admitted to hospital with chronic heart failure?


Randomised (allocation concealed*), blinded {outcome assessors},* controlled trial with 1 year of follow up.


An acute medical admissions unit at a teaching hospital in Glasgow, Scotland, UK.


165 patients (mean age 75 y, 58% men) who were admitted on an emergency basis with heart failure caused by left ventricular systolic dysfunction. Exclusion criteria were inability to comply with the intervention, acute myocardial infarction, comorbidity likely to lead to death or readmission in the near future, planned discharge to long term residential care, or residence outside of the hospital catchment area. Follow up at 1 year was 95%.


84 patients were allocated to usual care plus a specialist nurse intervention, which consisted of planned home visits of decreasing frequency …

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  • * See glossary.

  • Information provided by author.

  • Source of funding: Scottish Office, Department of Health.

  • For correspondence: Dr J J McMurray, Western Infirmary, Glasgow, Scotland, UK. j.mcmurray{at}

  • A modified version of this abstract also appears in Evidence-Based Nursing.