Heart study seeks patients | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Heart study seeks patients

Michele Pelter, RN Ph.D, is conducting a government-funded study aimed to test the effectiveness of an education program for patients with congestive heart failure in the rural areas of Northern Nevada and California. The study also will focus on the decisions people with congestive heart failure make when their symptoms worsen.

The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute administered a $3.4 million grant to four different healthcare organizations who will participate in the study. Grant recipients include UCSF, UC Davis, University of Kentucky and Renown Health, where one-third of the population is rural. A total of 710 patients will be enrolled in the study, with 237 patients from the Renown study site.

Residents from Lake Tahoe and surrounding areas are being sought. Participation in the study is voluntary and free. All study-related visits can be completed in the participants home or at one of our research offices. To participate, or find out more about this study, contact Kim Stephens, project director, at (866) 471-4555 or e-mail kstephens@renown.org.

“The overall goal of the study is to look at whether or not a nursing educational intervention can improve patient outcomes and reduce the need for re-hospitalization,” Pelter said. “This study is part of Renown Health’s commitment to improving heart care in our region.”

Nearly 5 million Americans live with heart failure, and 550,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. It is the leading cause of hospitalization for those aged 65 years and older. Little is known about living with heart failure in rural areas where access to formal heart-failure management programs is limited.

“We hope that the results of this study will help doctors and nurses better manage the symptoms that heart failure patients experience, and to learn about the challenges that rural patients living with heart failure may have,” Pelter said.

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