Melbourne Medical School Collected Works - Research Publications

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    An m-Health intervention to improve education, self-management, and outcomes in patients admitted for acute decompensated heart failure: barriers to effective implementation
    Zisis, G ; Carrington, MJ ; Oldenburg, B ; Whitmore, K ; Lay, M ; Huynh, Q ; Neil, C ; Ball, J ; Marwick, TH (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2021-12-29)
    Abstract Aims Effective and efficient education and patient engagement are fundamental to improve health outcomes in heart failure (HF). The use of artificial intelligence (AI) to enable more effective delivery of education is becoming more widespread for a range of chronic conditions. We sought to determine whether an avatar-based HF-app could improve outcomes by enhancing HF knowledge and improving patient quality of life and self-care behaviour. Methods and results In a randomized controlled trial of patients admitted for acute decompensated HF (ADHF), patients at high risk (≥33%) for 30-day hospital readmission and/or death were randomized to usual care or training with the HF-app. From August 2019 up until December 2020, 200 patients admitted to the hospital for ADHF were enrolled in the Risk-HF study. Of the 72 at high-risk, 36 (25 men; median age 81.5 years; 9.5 years of education; 15 in NYHA Class III at discharge) were randomized into the intervention arm and were offered education involving an HF-app. Whilst 26 (72%) could not use the HF-app, younger patients [odds ratio (OR) 0.89, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.82–0.97; P < 0.01] and those with a higher education level (OR 1.58, 95% CI 1.09–2.28; P = 0.03) were more likely to enrol. Of those enrolled, only 2 of 10 patients engaged and completed ≥70% of the program, and 6 of the remaining 8 who did not engage were readmitted. Conclusions Although AI-based education is promising in chronic conditions, our study provides a note of caution about the barriers to enrolment in critically ill, post-acute, and elderly patients.
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    Use of novel non-invasive techniques and biomarkers to guide outpatient management of fluid overload and reduce hospital readmission: systematic review and meta-analysis
    Zisis, G ; Halabi, A ; Huynh, Q ; Neil, C ; Carrington, M ; Marwick, TH (WILEY PERIODICALS, INC, 2021-07-22)
    AIMS: Fluid congestion is a leading cause of hospital admission, readmission, and mortality in heart failure (HF). We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the effectiveness of an advanced fluid management programme (AFMP). The AFMP was defined as an intervention providing tailored diuretic therapy guided by intravascular volume assessment, in hospitalized patients or after discharge. The AFMP group was compared with patients who received standard care treatment. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to determine the effectiveness of an AFMP in improving patient outcomes. METHODS AND RESULTS: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials, case-control studies, and crossover studies using the terms 'heart failure', 'fluid management', and 'readmission' was conducted in PubMed, CINAHL, and Scopus up until November 2020. Studies reporting the association of an AFMP on readmission and/or mortality were included in our meta-analyses. Risk of bias was assessed in non-randomized studies using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. From 232 retrieved studies, 12 were included in the data synthesis. The 6040 patients in the included studies had a mean age of 72 ± 4 years and mean left ventricular ejection fraction of 39 ± 8%, there were slightly more men (n = 3022) than women, and the follow-up period was a mean of 4.8 ± 3.1 months. Readmission data were available in 5362 patients; of these, 1629 were readmitted. Mortality data were available in 5787 patients; of these, 584 died. HF patients who had an AFMP in hospital and/or after discharge had lower odds of all-cause readmission (odds ratio-OR 0.64 [95% confidence interval-CI 0.44, 0.92], P = 0.02) with moderate heterogeneity (I2  = 46.5) and lower odds of all-cause mortality (OR 0.82 [95% CI 0.69, 0.98], P = 0.03) with low heterogeneity (I2  = 0). The use of an AFMP was equally effective in reducing readmission and mortality regardless of age and follow-up duration. Effective pre-discharge diuresis was associated with significantly lower readmission odds (OR 0.43 [95% CI 0.26, 0.71], P = 0.001) compared with a fluid management plan as part of post-discharge follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: An effective AFMP is associated with improving readmission and mortality in HF. Our results encourage attainment of optimal volume status at discharge and prescription of optimal diuretic dose. Ongoing support to maintain euvolaemia and effective collaboration between healthcare teams, along with effective patient education and engagement, may help to reduce adverse outcomes in HF patients.
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    Moving From Heart Failure Guidelines to Clinical Practice: Gaps Contributing to Readmissions in Patients With Multiple Comorbidities and Older Age
    Iyngkaran, P ; Liew, D ; Neil, C ; Driscoll, A ; Marwick, TH ; Hare, DL (SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2018-12-04)
    This feature article for the thematic series on congestive heart failure (CHF) readmissions aims to outline important gaps in guidelines for patients with multiple comorbidities and the elderly. Congestive heart failure diagnosis manifests as a 3-phase journey between the hospital and community, during acute, chronic stable, and end-of-life (palliative) phases. This journey requires in variable intensities a combination of multidisciplinary care within tertiary hospital or ambulatory care from hospital outpatients or primary health services, within the general community. Management goals are uniform, ie, to achieve the lowest New York Heart Association class possible, with improvement in ejection fraction, by delivering gold standard therapies within a CHF program. Comorbidities are an important common denominator that influences outcomes. Comorbidities include diabetes mellitus, chronic obstructive airways disease, chronic renal impairment, hypertension, obesity, sleep apnea, and advancing age. Geriatric care includes the latter as well as syndromes such as frailty, falls, incontinence, and confusion. Many systems still fail to comprehensively achieve all aspects of such programs. This review explores these factors.
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    Antihypertensive therapies in moderate or severe aortic stenosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis
    Sen, J ; Chung, E ; Neil, C ; Marwick, T (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2020-01-01)
    BACKGROUND: Hypertension confers a poor prognosis in moderate or severe aortic stenosis (AS), however, antihypertensive therapy (AHT) is often not prescribed due to the perceived deleterious effects of vasodilation and negative inotropes. OBJECTIVE: To assess the efficacy and safety outcomes of AHT in adults with moderate or severe AS. DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analysis. DATA SOURCES: The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE, EMBASE and grey literature were searched without language restrictions up to 9 September 2019. STUDY ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA, APPRAISAL AND SYNTHESIS METHODS: Two independent reviewers performed screening, data extraction and risk of bias assessments from a systematic search of observational studies and randomised controlled trials comparing AHT with a placebo or no AHT in adults with moderate or severe AS for any parameter of efficacy and safety outcomes. Conflicts were resolved by the third reviewer. Meta-analysis with pooled effect sizes using random-effects model, were estimated in R. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Mortality, Left Ventricular (LV) Mass Index, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure and LV ejection fraction RESULTS: From 3025 publications, 31 studies (26 500 patients) were included in the qualitative synthesis and 24 studies in the meta-analysis. AHT was not associated with mortality when all studies were pooled, but heterogeneity was substantial across studies. The effect size of AHT differed according to drug class. Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors (RAASi) were associated with reduced risk of mortality (Pooled HR 0.58, 95% CI 0.43 to 0.80, p=0.006), The differences in changes of haemodynamic or echocardiographic parameters from baseline with and without AHT did not reach statistical significance. CONCLUSION: AHT appears safe, is well tolerated. RAASi were associated with clinical benefit in patients with moderate or severe AS.
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    Rationale and design of a risk-guided strategy for reducing readmissions for acute decompensated heart failure: the Risk-HF study
    Zisis, G ; Huynh, Q ; Yang, Y ; Neil, C ; Carrington, MJ ; Ball, J ; Maguire, G ; Marwick, TH (WILEY PERIODICALS, INC, 2020-07-22)
    AIMS: Heart failure (HF) readmission commonly arises owing to insufficient patient knowledge and failure of recognition of the early stages of recurrent fluid congestion. In previous work, we developed a score to predict short-term hospital readmission and showed that higher-risk patients benefit most from a disease management programme (DMP) that included enhancing knowledge and education by a nurse. We aim to evaluate the effectiveness of a novel, nurse-led HF DMP in selected patients at high risk of short-term hospital readmission, using ultrasound-guided diuretic management and artificial intelligence to enhance HF knowledge in an outpatient setting. METHODS AND RESULTS: Risk-HF is a prospective multisite randomized controlled trial that will allocate 404 patients hospitalized with acute decompensated HF, and ≥33% risk of readmission and/or death at 30 days, into risk-guided nurse intervention (DMP-Plus group) compared with usual care. Intervention elements include (i) fluid management with a handheld ultrasound (HHU) device at point of care; (ii) post-discharge follow-up; (iii) optimal programmed drug titration; (iv) better transition of care; (v) intensive self-care education via an avatar-based 'digital health coach'; and (vi) exercise guidance through the digital coach. Usual care involves standard post-discharge hospital care. The primary outcome is reduced death and/or hospital readmissions at 30 days post-discharge, and secondary outcomes include quality of life, fluid management efficacy, and feasibility and patient engagement. Assuming that our intervention will reduce readmissions and/or deaths by 50%, with a 1:1 ratio of intervention vs. usual care, we plan to randomize 404 patients to show a difference at a statistical power of 80%, using a two-sided alpha of 0.05. We anticipate this recruitment will be achieved by screening 2020 hospitalized HF patients for eligibility. An 8 week pilot programme of our digital health coach in 21 HF patients, age > 75 years, showed overall improvements in quality of life (13 of 21), self-care (12 of 21), and HF knowledge (13 of 21). A pilot of the use of HHU by nurses showed that it was feasible and accurate. CONCLUSIONS: The Risk-HF trial will evaluate the effectiveness of a risk-guided intervention to improve HF outcomes and will evaluate the efficacy of trained HF nurses delivering a fluid management protocol that is guided by lung ultrasound with an HHU at point of care.
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    Handheld ultrasound to reduce requests for inappropriate echocardiogram (HURRIE)
    Haji, K ; Wong, C ; Neil, C ; Cox, N ; Mulligan, A ; Wright, L ; Vogrin, S ; Marwick, TH (BIOSCIENTIFICA LTD, 2019-12-01)
    BACKGROUND: Handheld ultrasound could provide sufficient information to satisfy the clinical questions underlying 'rarely appropriate' echo requests, but there are limited data about its use as a gatekeeper to standard echocardiography. We sought to determine whether the use of handheld ultrasound could improve the appropriate use of echocardiography. METHOD: A prospective study comparing handheld ultrasound strategy to standard echocardiography for studies deemed rarely appropriate, using a questionnaire based on appropriate use criteria was conducted across two hospitals, from October 2017 to April 2018. RESULTS: Groups undergoing Handheld ultrasound (n = 76, 58 (46.5-72.5) years, 53 males, 78% outpatients) and standard echocardiography (n = 72, 61 (49.0-71.5) years, 42 males, 76% outpatients) were comparable. There was a significant decrease in the time to scan from just over 1 month in standard group to a median of 12 days in handheld ultrasound group (P < 0.001). This difference was small for inpatients (from 1 day to a median of 10 min in handheld ultrasound, P = 0.014), but prominent in outpatients (from 1.5 months in the standard group to median of 2 weeks in the handheld ultrasound group, P < 0.001). There was no increase in the need for follow-up scan within 6 months and no significant differences in length of hospital stay for inpatients. CONCLUSION: Handheld ultrasound can be an effective gatekeeper to standard echocardiography for requests deemed rarely appropriate, reducing time to echocardiography significantly and potentially decreasing the need for standard echocardiography by up to 20%.