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Aims: The effect on mortality and morbidity of pharmacist-led intervention to optimize pharmacological therapy in patients with systolic heart failure ( HF ) has not been tested in a large-scale, long-term, clinical trial. Methods: We describe the rationale and design of a UK, primary care-based, prospective cluster-randomized controlled trial of a pharmacist-led intervention in HF and report baseline characteristics of the patients randomized. Eighty-seven practices ( 1092 patients ) were assigned to the intervention arm and 87 practices ( 1077 patients ) to usual care. The average age of patients at baseline was 71 years, 70% were male, 86% were treated with an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker and 62% with a beta-blocker. Data for the primary outcome of death from any cause or hospitalization for HF will be available up to 31 December 2010, giving a mean follow-up of 5 years. More than 750 patients would have experienced the primary outcome during this period. The first secondary outcome is death from any cause or hospitalization for a cardiovascular reason. Deaths and hospitalizations are being identified using the Scottish National Health Service electronic patient record-linkage system ( hence the delay between the end of follow-up and database lock ). Conclusion: This trial is powered to provide a robust evaluation of the effect of pharmacist-led treatment optimization in patients with systolic HF in primary care.


Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

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Journal Article

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