The WHICH? trial: rationale and design of a pragmatic randomized, multicentre comparison of home- vs. clinic-based management of chronic heart failure patients
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Aims To describe the rationale and design of the Which Heart failure Intervention is most Cost-effective & consumer friendly in reducing Hospital care (WHICH?) trial. Methods WHICH? is a pragmatic, multicentre, randomized controlled trial that seeks to determine if multidisciplinary management of chronic heart failure (CHF) patients post-acute hospitalization delivered in a patient's own home is superior to care delivered via a specialist CHF outpatient clinic. The composite primary endpoint is all-cause, unplanned recurrent hospitalization or death during 12-18 months of follow-up. Of 688 eligible patients, 280 patients (73% male and 66% principal diagnosis of CHF) with a mean age of 71 ᠱ4 years have been randomized to home- (n = 143) or clinic-based (n = 137) post-discharge management. This will provide 80% power (two-sided alpha of 0.05) to detect a 15% absolute difference in both the primary end-point and rate of all-cause hospital stay. Preliminary data suggest that the two groups are well matched in nearly all baseline socio-economic and clinical parameters. The majority of patients have significant co-morbidity, including hypertension (63%), coronary artery disease (55%), and atrial fibrillation (53%) with an accordingly high Charlson Index of Comorbidity Score (6.1 ᠲ.4). Perspective Despite its relatively small size, the WHICH? trial is well placed to examine the relative impact of two of the most commonly applied forms of face-to-face management designed to reduce recurrent hospitalization and prolong survival in CHF patients.
European Journal of Heart Failure
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