Engaging patients and families to create a feasible clinical trial integrating palliative and heart failure care: Results of the ENABLE CHF-PC pilot clinical trial

Academic Article

Abstract

  • © 2017 The Author(s). Background: Early palliative care (EPC) is recommended but rarely integrated with advanced heart failure (HF) care. We engaged patients and family caregivers to study the feasibility and site differences in a two-site EPC trial, ENABLE CHF-PC (Educate, Nurture, Advise, Before Life Ends Comprehensive Heartcare for Patients and Caregivers). Methods: We conducted an EPC feasibility study (4/1/14-8/31/15) for patients with NYHA Class III/IV HF and their caregivers in academic medical centers in the northeast and southeast U.S. The EPC intervention comprised: 1) an in-person outpatient palliative care consultation; and 2) telephonic nurse coach sessions and monthly calls. We collected patient- and caregiver-reported outcomes of quality of life (QOL), symptom, health, anxiety, and depression at baseline, 12- and 24-weeks. We used linear mixed-models to assess baseline to week 24 longitudinal changes. Results: We enrolled 61 patients and 48 caregivers; between-site demographic differences included age, race, religion, marital, and work status. Most patients (69%) and caregivers (79%) completed all intervention sessions; however, we noted large between-site differences in measurement completion (38% southeast vs. 72% northeast). Patients experienced moderate effect size improvements in QOL, symptoms, physical, and mental health; caregivers experienced moderate effect size improvements in QOL, depression, mental health, and burden. Small-to-moderate effect size improvements were noted in patients' hospital and ICU days and emergency visits. Conclusions: Between-site demographic, attrition, and participant-reported outcomes highlight the importance of intervention pilot-testing in culturally diverse populations. Observations from this pilot feasibility trial allowed us to refine the methodology of an in-progress, full-scale randomized clinical efficacy trial. Trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT03177447 (retrospectively registered, June 2017).
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    Author List

  • Bakitas M; Dionne-Odom JN; Pamboukian SV; Tallaj J; Kvale E; Swetz KM; Frost J; Wells R; Azuero A; Keebler K
  • Volume

  • 16
  • Issue

  • 1