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Heart failure nurses prove their worth

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Support from a heart failure nurse specialist significantly increases patient compliance with non-pharmacological interventions, say Dutch researchers.

Over 18 months, one third of 1,000 heart failure patients received usual care, which included regular visits to a cardiologist, while the remainder also received either basic or intensive education and counselling from a heart failure nurse specialist.

Those in the basic support group saw the heart failure nurse once every three months, with the option to call with any questions. Those in the intensive support group saw the nurse at least once a month.

Study authors said 90% of patients in the support groups were found to adhere to their fluid and diet restrictions, while no improvement was seen in the usual care group. Both the basic and intensive support groups also weighed themselves regularly, 79% and 89% respectively, compared to only 56% of control patients.

The study results were presented at the American Heart Association’s annual meeting in Orlando, Florida.

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