• Article

Transitional care interventions to prevent readmissions for persons with heart failure: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Background: Nearly 25% of patients hospitalized with heart failure (HF) are readmitted within 30 days.

Purpose: To assess the efficacy, comparative effectiveness, and harms of transitional care interventions to reduce readmission and mortality rates for adults hospitalized with HF.

Data Sources: MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, ClinicalTrials.gov, and World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (1 January 1990 to late October 2013).

Study Selection: Two reviewers independently selected randomized, controlled trials published in English reporting a readmission or mortality rate within 6 months of an index hospitalization.

Data Extraction: One reviewer extracted data, and another checked accuracy. Two reviewers assessed risk of bias and graded strength of evidence (SOE).

Data Synthesis: Forty-seven trials were included. Most enrolled adults with moderate to severe HF and a mean age of 70 years. Few trials reported 30-day readmission rates. At 30 days, a high-intensity home-visiting program reduced all-cause readmission and the composite end point (all-cause readmission or death; low SOE). Over 3 to 6 months, home-visiting programs and multidisciplinary heart failure (MDS-HF) clinic interventions reduced all-cause readmission (high SOE). Home-visiting programs reduced HF-specific readmission and the composite end point (moderate SOE). Structured telephone support (STS) interventions reduced HF-specific readmission (high SOE) but not all-cause readmissions (moderate SOE). Home-visiting programs, MDS-HF clinics, and STS interventions produced a mortality benefit. Neither telemonitoring nor primarily educational interventions reduced readmission or mortality rates.

Limitations: Few trials reported 30-day readmission rates. Usual care was heterogeneous and sometimes not adequately described.

Conclusion: Home-visiting programs and MDS-HF clinics reduced all-cause readmission and mortality; STS reduced HF-specific readmission and mortality. These interventions should receive the greatest consideration by systems or providers seeking to implement transitional care interventions for persons with HF.

Citation

Feltner, C., Jones, CD., Cene, CW., Zheng, Z-J., Sueta, CA., Coker-Schwimmer, EJL., ... Jonas, DE. (2014). Transitional care interventions to prevent readmissions for persons with heart failure: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Annals of Internal Medicine, 160(11), 774-784. DOI: 10.7326/M14-0083

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