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Review: specialised multidisciplinary follow up reduces hospital admissions but not mortality in patients with heart failure

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QUESTION: Do disease management programmes reduce hospital admissions and all cause mortality in patients with heart failure (HF)?

Data sources

Randomised trials were identified by searching Medline (1966–99), EMBASE/Excerpta Medica (1980–98), CINAHL (1982–99), SIGLE (1980–98), the Cochrane Controlled Trials Registry, and the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organization of Care Study Registry; reviewing bibliographies of retrieved studies; and contacting experts.

Study selection

Studies in any language were selected if they reported the effect of outpatient HF management programmes on mortality or hospital admissions. Studies were excluded if outcomes for patients with HF were not reported separately from patients with other diseases or the data were not available from the authors.

Data extraction

Data were extracted on study sample size, patient characteristics, key components …

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  • Source of funding: no external funding.

  • For correspondence: Dr F A McAlister, Division of General Internal Medicine, 2E3.24 WMC, University of Alberta Hospital, 8440 112 Street, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R7, Canada. Fax +1 780 407 2680.