Hospitalization at Home of Elderly Patients With Heart Failure
Aim of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of hospital-at-home treatment compared with inpatient care in selected elderly patients with acute exacerbation of chronic heart failure (CHF).
Other: Treatment of elderly patients in a GMW
Other: Treatment of elderly patients in GHHS
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Health Services Research
|Official Title:||Acute Exacerbation of Chronic Heart Failure: "Hospital at Home" Versus Inpatient Care for Elderly Patients. A Randomized, Controlled Trial.|
- mortality [ Time Frame: 6 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: Yes ]
- hospital readmissions [ Time Frame: six months ] [ Designated as safety issue: Yes ]
|Study Start Date:||April 2004|
|Study Completion Date:||October 2005|
|Primary Completion Date:||April 2005 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
Patients treated by hospital-at-home service (GHHS)
|Other: Treatment of elderly patients in GHHS|
Active Comparator: 2
Patients treated in a general medical ward (GMW)
|Other: Treatment of elderly patients in a GMW|
A total of 101 elderly patients admitted to the emergency department of the hospital for acute exacerbation of CHF were randomly assigned to a general medical ward (GMW, n = 53) or to a geriatric home hospitalization service (GHHS, n = 48).
All patients aged 75 and older admitted to the ED (Emergence Department) of the San Giovanni Battista Hospital during the period between April 2004 and April 2005 with main diagnosis of heart failure and requiring acute hospitalization were enrolled in the study.
Additional inclusion criteria were appropriate care supervision at home, telephone connection, living in the hospital-at-home catchment area and informed consent. Exclusion criteria were absence of family and social support; patients who need mechanical ventilation, severe dementia, end-stage cancer, history of severe renal impairment or hepatic failure with ascitis.
All patients involved underwent a baseline standard clinical evaluation, blood tests that included haematocrits, glycemia, hepatic and renal function and electrolytes, and instrumental investigations. Only those who had been evaluated in the ED for at least 12 to 24 hours were considered eligible for the study.
Patients fulfilling inclusion criteria were informed about the nature of the study and asked to give their informed consent. Extensive information was also provided to patient's relatives to obtain their collaboration.
Directly in the ED, eligible patients were randomly assigned to GHHS or to a GMW and immediately transferred. For the randomization, a set of computer-generated random numbers in a 1:1 ratio has been used. The allocation sequence was unknown to any of the investigators and was contained in a set of sealed envelopes, each bearing on the outside only the name of the hospital and a number.
Measurements of baseline sociodemographic information, clinical data, functional, cognitive and nutritional status, depression and quality of life were obtained for the entire sample.
Patients transferred home were immediately visited by members of the hospital at home's team who conducted a multidimensional geriatric assessment and programmed the home treatment that was the same that hospitalised patients received. In addition, patients treated at home and their caregivers obtained adequate education about the knowledge of the disease and constant advice about smoking cessation, nutrition, use of drugs and early recognition of triggers of disease's exacerbation. The GHHS group received a daily nurse visit and a physician's visit every two or three days for the entire length of stay. The inpatients control group received routine hospital care. Hospital at home staff was available at all times for urgent home visits.