PURPOSE: (1) To determine if clinicians’ knowledge of BNP levels affected a change in QOL scores and reduced LOS of HF hospitalization; (2) To examine if elevated BNP levels are predictive of impaired quality of life.
METHODS: QOL data from HF clinic patients (N= 108, 67.5 ±12.3, 56% male, ejection fraction 26.5 ± 8.2) were analyzed. QOL was measured at time of clinic visit (T1) and at 90 days (T2) using the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire (MLHFQ). An independent t-test was utilized to compare the study group an the control group.
RESULTS: Both groups were comparable regarding demographic and baseline characteristics. Physician knowledge of BNP levels at time of clinic visit did not make a difference in QOL scores at 90 days for either group. QOL scores went down for each group indicating an improvement of their overall QOL at 90 days. There was a decrease in the mean QOL scores at 90 days (37.46 ± 28.67) as compared to the mean QOL scores at baseline (46.87 ± 29.63) for both groups. Pre and post paired t-test for the experimental group and control group was significant (t = 5.07, df = 90, p = .001,t = 4.62, df = 41, p = 0.00) respectively. Hospital LOS was similar for both groups (mean=3 days). BNP levels were significantly correlated with both overall QOL scores (p=.01), physical subscale scores (p=.01), New York Heart Association (NYHA) classification (p=<0.0001) and ejection fraction (p=<0.0001). Mortality was higher in the control when compared to the experimental group (t=1.99, df=90, p=.04).
CONCLUSION: While clinicians’ awareness of BNP levels had not shown a significant change in QOL, HF patients indicated lesser HF symptoms at 90 days. Mortality was higher in those patients whose BNP levels were not disclosed to clinicians.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Clinicians’ knowledge of BNP levels at time of clinic visit is important in assessing heart failure patients. This may help delay the progression of the disease, alleviate deterioration of functional status, and improve QOL.
DISCLOSURE: Irma Ancheta, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information