Aims: To compare the effectiveness of transitional care services in decreasing all-cause death and all-cause readmissions following hospitalization for heart failure (HF).
Methods and results: We searched PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, and Cochrane Clinical Trials Register for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published in 2000-2015 that tested the efficacy of transitional care services in patients hospitalized for HF, provided ≥1 month of follow-up, and reported all-cause mortality or all-cause readmissions. Our network meta-analysis included 53 RCTs (12 356 patients). Among services that significantly decreased all-cause mortality compared with usual care, nurse home visits were most effective [ranking P-score 0.6794; relative risk (RR) 0.78, 95% confidence intervals (CI) 0.62-0.98], followed by disease management clinics (DMCs) (ranking P-score 0.6368; RR 0.80, 95% CI 0.67-0.97). Among services that significantly decreased all-cause readmission, nurse home visits were most effective [ranking P-score 0.8365; incident rate ratio (IRR) 0.65, 95% CI 0.49-0.86], followed by nurse case management (NCM) (ranking P-score 0.6168; IRR 0.77, 95% CI 0.63-0.95), and DMCs (ranking P-score 0.5691; IRR 0.80, 95% CI 0.66-0.97). There was no significant difference in the comparative effectiveness of services that improved each outcome. Nurse home visits had the greatest pooled cost-savings (3810 USD, 95% CI 3682-3937), followed by NCM (3435 USD, 95% CI 3224-3645), and DMCs (245 USD, 95% CI -70 to 559). Telephone, telemonitoring, pharmacist, and education interventions did not significantly improve clinical outcomes.
Conclusion: Nurse home visits and DMCs decrease all-cause mortality after hospitalization for HF. Along with NCM, they also reduce all-cause readmissions, with no significant difference in comparative effectiveness. These services reduce healthcare system costs to varying degrees.
Keywords: Comparative effectiveness; Heart failure; Transitional care.
© 2017 The Authors. European Journal of Heart Failure © 2017 European Society of Cardiology.