An Electronically delivered, Patient-activation tool for Intensification of medications for Chronic Heart Failure with reduced ejection fraction: Rationale and design of the EPIC-HF trial

Am Heart J. 2020 Nov:229:144-155. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2020.08.013. Epub 2020 Aug 28.


Background: Heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) benefits from initiation and intensification of multiple pharmacotherapies. Unfortunately, there are major gaps in the routine use of these drugs. Without novel approaches to improve prescribing, the cumulative benefits of HFrEF treatment will be largely unrealized. Direct-to-consumer marketing and shared decision making reflect a culture where patients are increasingly involved in treatment choices, creating opportunities for prescribing interventions that engage patients.

Hypothesis: Encouraging patients to engage providers in HFrEF prescribing decisions will improve the use of guideline-directed medical therapies.

Design: The Electronically delivered, Patient-activation tool for Intensification of Chronic medications for Heart Failure with reduced ejection fraction (EPIC-HF) trial randomizes patients with HFrEF to usual care versus patient-activation tools-a 3-minute video and 1-page checklist-delivered prior to cardiology clinic visits that encourage patients to work collaboratively with their clinicians to intensify HFrEF prescribing. The study assesses the effectiveness of the EPIC-HF intervention to improve guideline-directed medical therapy in the month after its delivery while using an implementation design to also understand the reach, adoption, implementation, and maintenance of this approach within the context of real-world care delivery. Study enrollment was completed in January 2020, with a total 305 patients. Baseline data revealed significant opportunities, with <1% of patients on optimal HFrEF medical therapy.

Summary: The EPIC-HF trial assesses the implementation, effectiveness, and safety of patient engagement in HFrEF prescribing decisions. If successful, the tool can be easily disseminated and may inform similar interventions for other chronic conditions.

Trial registration: NCT03334188.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial Protocol
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Decision Making, Shared*
  • Female
  • Health Services Misuse
  • Heart Failure* / drug therapy
  • Heart Failure* / physiopathology
  • Heart Failure* / psychology
  • Humans
  • Internet-Based Intervention
  • Male
  • Patient Participation* / methods
  • Patient Participation* / psychology
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Quality Improvement
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Stroke Volume*
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / diagnosis

Associated data