The WHICH? Trial: Rationale and design of a pragmatic randomized, multicentre comparison of home- vs. clinic-based management of chronic heart failure patients

Simon Stewart, Melinda J. Carrington, Thomas Marwick, Patricia M. Davidson, Peter MacDonald, John Horowitz, Henry Krum, Phillip J. Newton, Christopher Reid, Paul A. Scuffham

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Aims To describe the rationale and design of the Which Heart failure Intervention is most Cost-effective & consumer friendly in reducing Hospital care (WHICH?) trial. Methods WHICH? is a pragmatic, multicentre, randomized controlled trial that seeks to determine if multidisciplinary management of chronic heart failure (CHF) patients post-acute hospitalization delivered in a patients own home is superior to care delivered via a specialist CHF outpatient clinic. The composite primary endpoint is all-cause, unplanned recurrent hospitalization or death during 1218 months of follow-up. Of 688 eligible patients, 280 patients (73 male and 66 principal diagnosis of CHF) with a mean age of 71 ± 14 years have been randomized to home- (n 143) or clinic-based (n 137) post-discharge management. This will provide 80 power (two-sided alpha of 0.05) to detect a 15 absolute difference in both the primary end-point and rate of all-cause hospital stay. Preliminary data suggest that the two groups are well matched in nearly all baseline socio-economic and clinical parameters. The majority of patients have significant co-morbidity, including hypertension (63), coronary artery disease (55), and atrial fibrillation (53) with an accordingly high Charlson Index of Comorbidity Score (6.1 ± 2.4). Perspective Despite its relatively small size, the WHICH? trial is well placed to examine the relative impact of two of the most commonly applied forms of face-to-face management designed to reduce recurrent hospitalization and prolong survival in CHF patients. Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)909-916
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Heart Failure
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011
Externally publishedYes



  • Chronic heart failure
  • Disease management
  • Left ventricular systolic dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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