Send to

Choose Destination
J Card Fail. 2013 Dec;19(12):842-50. doi: 10.1016/j.cardfail.2013.10.008. Epub 2013 Oct 29.

Utilization of trained volunteers decreases 30-day readmissions for heart failure.

Author information

Division of Cardiology, New York Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn, New York.
Volunteer and Educational Resources Department, New York Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn, New York.
Division of Cardiology, New York Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn, New York. Electronic address:



This study evaluated the effectiveness of using trained volunteer staff in reducing 30-day readmissions of congestive heart failure (CHF) patients.


From June 2010 to December 2010, 137 patients (mean age 73 years) hospitalized for CHF were randomly assigned to either: an interventional arm (arm A) receiving dietary and pharmacologic education by a trained volunteer, follow-up telephone calls within 48 hours, and a month of weekly calls; or a control arm (arm B) receiving standard care. Primary outcomes were 30-day readmission rates for CHF and worsening New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional classification; composite and all-cause mortality were secondary outcomes.


Arm A patients had decreased 30-day readmissions (7% vs 19%; P < .05) with a relative risk reduction (RRR) of 63% and an absolute risk reduction (ARR) of 12%. The composite outcome of 30-day readmission, worsening NYHA functional class, and death was decreased in the arm A (24% vs 49%; P < .05; RRR 51%, ARR 25%). Standard-care treatment and hypertension, age ≥65 years and hypertension, and cigarette smoking were predictors of increased risk for readmissions, worsening NYHA functional class, and all-cause mortality, respectively, in the multivariable analysis.


Utilizing trained volunteer staff to improve patient education and engagement might be an efficient and low-cost intervention to reduce CHF readmissions.


Community patients; patient education; patient-centered intervention; risk factors

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center