In a new study, researchers found health-care services that help patients transition from hospital to home may not benefit heart failure patients.
The research was led by the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS).
Previous studies have shown that “Heart failure is a leading cause of hospitalization in older people.
About 40% of early readmissions after heart failure hospitalizations are related to problems in care transitions.
Although transitional care services could improve health in some patients, their benefit is unclear.
In the current study, the team examined 2,494 adults hospitalized for heart failure at 10 hospitals in Ontario between February 2015 and March 2016.
They then followed the health status of the patients until November 2016.
Hospital-To-Home transition care was delivered to 1,104 patients. The service included nurse-led self-care education, a structured hospital discharge summary, and a family doctor follow-up appointment.
The team examined the effect of the intervention on the outcome of hospital readmission.
They found patient-centered transitional care service did not improve health in patients hospitalized for heart failure.
There were no strong differences in death, readmissions, or emergency department visits between patients who received and did not receive the transition care service.
But patients who received the care did report a better quality of life.
The researchers suggest that if patients report greater satisfaction with care and quality of life, then the transition care service may still be worthy of program funding.
Future work should focus on whether this type of care could be beneficial in other health-care systems or locations.
The lead author of the study is Harriette Van Spall.
The study is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
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