Educational Program to Improve Heart Failure Outcomes in Adults Living in Rural Areas

2014-07-23 21:34:22 | BioPortfolio


Heart failure patients living in rural areas usually do not have adequate access to formal heart failure management programs. This study will compare two versions of an educational intervention aimed at improving self-care management techniques among individuals with heart failure who are living in rural areas.


Heart failure is a life-threatening condition in which the heart can no longer pump enough blood to the rest of the body. It is important for individuals with heart failure to closely monitor their symptoms and seek out medical attention when appropriate. Swelling and weight gain are common heart failure symptoms that indicate excess fluid buildup in the body and worsening heart function. Closely monitoring and responding to these symptoms can be a strategic way to prevent heart failure exacerbations. However, many patients ignore symptoms and are reluctant to seek care. Specialized monitoring programs can help heart failure patients to respond more appropriately to their symptoms.

Traditionally, heart failure patients living in rural areas have had limited access to formal monitoring programs. Fluid Watchers is a program designed to help heart failure patients living in rural areas improve self-management of symptoms, specifically excess fluid buildup. The purpose of this study is to compare the effectiveness of two versions of Fluid Watchers at improving the hospitalization and death rates of individuals with heart failure who live in rural areas.

In this 2-year study, 710 participants will be randomly assigned to either the Fluid Watchers LITE program, the Fluid Watchers PLUS program, or a usual care control group. Individuals in both Fluid Watchers groups will attend a one-on-one educational session that will include heart failure counseling and information on self-monitoring and care-seeking strategies. Participants in the PLUS program will receive additional counseling, audio tapes, and follow-up telephone calls on a biweekly basis. All participants will record self-monitoring adherence and contact with healthcare providers. Outcome measures will be assessed during either clinic or home visits at study entry and Months 3, 12, and 24, and will include number of emergency department visits, number of physician visits, heart failure severity, and quality of life.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Dose Comparison, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Health Services Research


Heart Failure, Congestive


Fluid Watchers LITE Educational Intervention, Fluid Watchers PLUS Educational Intervention


University of California, Davis
United States




National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-23T21:34:22-0400

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