Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of hospitalisation and improve health-related quality of life. NICE recommends offering CR for patients with Heart Failure (HF), but few UK centres have a specific rehabilitation programme for HF.
The Rehabilitation EnAblement in CHronic Heart Failure (REACH-HF) intervention is a home-based self-help CR manual to improve health-related quality of life. The manual includes an exercise programme; management of stress/anxiety; HF symptom monitoring; and understanding and taking medications. The study team includes academics from three CLAHRCs: South West (who are leading the study), West Midlands Theme 3 (Prevention and Detection) and East Midlands. The researchers are conducting a trial to assess the clinical- and cost-effectiveness of the intervention in addition to usual care for patients with systolic HF. Outcomes after 12 months will be compared with a control group receiving usual care to measure disease specific health-related quality of life, as well as survival, hospitalisation, psychological well-being and patient safety.
The findings will provide valuable information for clinicians, policy makers, patients and their caregivers about the role of self-directed rehabilitation interventions and has the potential to positively impact on the current poor provision and uptake of rehabilitation services for people with HF.