Primary care-based integrated disease management for heart failure: a study protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial Journal Articles uri icon

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  • IntroductionHeart failure (HF) is a common chronic disease that increases in prevalence with age. It is associated with high hospitalisation rates, poor quality of life and high mortality. Management is complex with most interactions occurring in primary care. Disease management programmes implemented during or after an HF hospitalisation have been shown to reduce hospitalisation and mortality rates. Evidence for integrated disease management (IDM) serving the primary care HF population has been investigated but is less conclusive. The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of IDM, focused on, optimising medication, self-management and structured follow-up, in a high-risk primary care HF population.Methods and analysis100 family physician clusters will be recruited in this Canadian primary care multicentre cluster randomised controlled trial. Physicians will be randomised to IDM or to care as usual. The IDM programme under evaluation will include case management, medication management, education, and skills training delivered collaboratively by the family physician and a trained HF educator. The primary outcome will measure the combined rate (events/patient-years) of all-cause hospitalisations, emergency department visits and mortality over a 12-month follow-up. Secondary outcomes include other health service utilisation, quality of life, knowledge assessments and acute HF episodes. Two to three HF patients will be recruited per physician cluster to give a total sample size of 280. The study has 90% power to detect a 35% reduction in the primary outcome. The difference in primary outcome between IDM and usual care will be modelled using a negative binomial regression model adjusted for baseline, clustering and for individuals experiencing multiple events.Ethics and disseminationThe study has obtained approval from the Research Ethics Board at the University of Western Ontario, London, Canada (ID 114089). Findings will be disseminated through local reports, presentations and peer-reviewed publications.Trial registration numberNCT04066907.


  • Hussey, Anna J
  • McKelvie, Robert
  • Ferrone, Madonna
  • To, Teresa
  • Fisk, Melissa
  • Singh, Dhssraj
  • Faulds, Cathy
  • Licskai, Christopher

publication date

  • May 2022