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Involving family in discharge education: A nurse-led intervention to reduce hospital readmissions for older adults with heart failure and cognitive impairment
  1. Christine J. McPherson
  1. School of Nursing, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Christine J. McPherson, School of Nursing, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada; cmcphers{at}

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Commentary on: Agarwal KS, Bhimaraj A, Xu J, et al. Decreasing heart failure readmissions among older patients with cognitive impairment by engaging caregivers. J Cardiovasc Nurs 2020; 35(3):253–61. doi:10.1097/JCN.0000000000000670.

Implications for practice and research

  • The study provides preliminary evidence that engaging families in discharge education to older patients with heart failure (HF) and cognitive impairment (CI) reduces readmissions.

  • Based on the study, more research is needed to address the limitations and refine the intervention to accommodate patients’ self-care competencies and the capacities of families.


HF is a highly complex progressive syndrome that accounts for a substantial proportion of morbidity and mortality, particularly in older adults where HF is most prevalent.1 A mainstay of HF management is patient self-care including adherence to multifaceted therapies, lifestyle changes, and monitoring of symptoms so that appropriate actions are taken.2 Multimorbidity adds to …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.