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J Clin Med ; 11(10)2022 May 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1855688


BACKGROUND: Heart failure (HF) patients are predisposed to recurrences and disease destabilizations, especially during the COVID-19 outbreak period. In this scenario, telemedicine could be a proper way to ensure continuous care. The purpose of the study was to compare two modalities of HF outpatients' follow up, the traditional in-person visits and telephone consultations, during the COVID-19 pandemic period in Italy. METHODS: We conducted an observational study on consecutive HF outpatients. The follow up period was 12 months, starting from the beginning of the COVID-19 Italy lockdown. According to the follow up modality, and after the propensity matching score, patients were divided into two groups: those in G1 (n = 92) were managed with traditional in-person visits and those in G2 (n = 92) were managed with telephone consultation. Major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) were the primary endpoints. Secondary endpoints were overall mortality, cardiovascular death, cardiovascular hospitalization, and hospitalization due to HF. RESULTS: No significant differences between G1 and G2 have been observed regarding MACE (p = 0.65), cardiovascular death (p = 0.39), overall mortality (p = 0.85), hospitalization due to acute HF (p = 0.07), and cardiovascular hospitalization (p = 0.4). Survival analysis performed by the Kaplan-Meier method also did not show significant differences between G1 and G2. CONCLUSIONS: Telephone consultations represented a valid option to manage HF outpatients during COVID-19 pandemic, comparable to traditional in-person visits.

European heart journal supplements : journal of the European Society of Cardiology ; 23(Suppl G), 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1601695


Aims Following the COVID‐19 pandemic‐related lockdown period in Italy, people have experienced psycho-physical distress. Many hospitals were converted in COVID-19 healthcare places and many specialist outpatient’s services were drastically reduced. Virtual visits may represent a strategy to overcome the lack of HF outpatient’s services, during this period. Our own experience underlines the importance of virtual visits to face the clinical and health status deterioration, associated with COVID-19, in HF outpatients. Methods and results We conducted an observational study, enrolling consecutive HF outpatients, previously hospitalized at the Department of Clinical, Internal, Anesthesiology and Cardiovascular Sciences of Sapienza University of Rome, who were discharged within 31 March 2019, and 30 April 2019. Two follow-up periods were scheduled: (i) within 20–30 days after the beginning of lockdown (ii) at 3 months after lockdown’s end. Virtual visits were conducted through telephone, assessing changes in clinical and health status;the latter was assessed through the short version of the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ-12). According to the presence of at least one sign of HF deterioration, patients were divided into two groups: Group 1: patients who experienced a modification in at least one clinical parameter suggestive of HF deterioration. Group 2: patients who do not experienced any modification of HF deterioration clinical parameter. KCCQ-12 mean scores were compared between the two groups, at both scheduled virtual visits, in order to evaluate any change in HF outpatients’ health status, during and after the COVID-19-related-lockdown. 160 HF outpatients have been included in the study: 63 in the group 1, 97 in the group 2. At the first virtual visit, group 1 reported significantly lower mean KCCQ-12 score, compared to group 2 [46.2 (±14.6) vs. 53.8 (±11);CI: 95% 11.6 to − 3.6;P = 0.0003]. At the second virtual visit, group 1 patients reported a slightly, but not statistically significant, lower mean KCCQ-12 score, compared to group 2 [52.2 (± 13.3) vs. 53.1(±14.4);95% CI: −5.4 to 3.6;P = 0.69]. Comparing the KCCQ-12 mean scores of each group between the two scheduled virtual visits, group 1 reported a statistically significant increase at the second visit, compared to the first [52.2 (±13.3) vs. 46.2 (±14.6);CI: 95% 1.1–11;P = 0.017]. Group 2 showed no statistically significant variation of mean KCCQ-12 score between the two follow-up periods [53.1 (±14.4) vs. 53.8 (±11);CI: 95% −4.3 to 3;P = 0.704]. Conclusions we observed a significant worsening of health status in HF outpatients who have experienced clinical deterioration. Therefore, patients were either hospitalized or received the optimization of diuretic and anti-hypertensive therapies. A significant health status improvement was observed at three months after the end of the lockdown, suggesting the importance of virtual visit as an adequate method to follow-up HF outpatients, reporting particular benefits in those with worsening of HF clinical signs and health status.