Chronic heart failure is a growing public health issue that is reaching epidemic proportions. In the last few years, multidisciplinary management programs have been developed to improve its management. Yet, some patients take advantage of these programs, whereas others do not.
Several demographic, medical, and social variables were evaluated as contributors to dropout after enrollment into a multidisciplinary heart failure program using a nested case-control design. A total of 14 patients and 42 controls were interviewed using a standardized questionnaire. Possible associations were explored by means of χ2 Mantel-Haenszel test and a binary logistic regression model.
The only significant factor associated with dropout was social isolation. Patients who lived alone, without family support, had a significantly greater dropout risk (odds ratio, 12.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.35-11.6).
For patients who live alone, an individualized approach may be better than a multidisciplinary management program, but this hypothesis should be investigated in future studies.