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Self-Management Counseling May Not Aid in Heart Failure

Addition of counseling to education results in no improvement in heart failure outcomes

TUESDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Self-management counseling in addition to an enhanced educational intervention for patients with mild to moderate heart failure does not appear to have any benefit over the educational intervention alone, according to research published in the Sept. 22/29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Lynda H. Powell, Ph.D., of the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, and colleagues studied outcomes in 902 patients with mild to moderate heart failure and reduced or preserved systolic function randomized to either heart failure education with self-management counseling or education alone. The primary end point was death or heart failure hospitalization.

The researchers found no difference between the two groups in the rate of death or heart failure hospitalization during the median 2.56 years' follow-up. Also, no significant differences were found in the trial's secondary outcomes of death, heart failure hospitalization, all-cause hospitalization, or quality of life.

"There appears to be no benefit from self-management counseling on important clinical end points in patients with heart failure. However, given the epidemic of heart failure burdening the health care system, identification of innovative and cost-effective approaches to outpatient management is urgently needed. Future trials might evaluate the benefit of self-management counseling in low-income patients," the authors conclude.

One author disclosed financial ties to Novartis.

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