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Hospitalizations are common in heart failure (HF). Multimorbidity, defined as ≥2 comorbid conditions, drives many readmissions. The purpose of this pilot study was to test the effectiveness of motivational interviewing (MI) in decreasing these hospital readmissions. We enrolled 100 hospitalized HF patients into a randomized controlled trial, randomizing in a 2:1 ratio: intervention (n = 70) and control (n = 30). The intervention group received MI tailored to reports of self-care during one home visit and three to four follow-up phone calls. After 3 months, 34 participants had at least one hospital readmission. The proportion of patients readmitted for a condition unrelated to HF was lower in the intervention (7.1%) compared with the control group (30%, p = .003). Significant predictors of a non-HF readmission were intervention group, age, diabetes, and hemoglobin. Together, these variables explained 35% of the variance in multimorbidity readmissions. These preliminary results are promising in suggesting that MI may be an effective method of decreasing multimorbidity hospital readmissions in HF patients.


Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

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Journal Article

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