This study examined whether nurses could manage coronary risk factors in patients with unstable angina more effectively than physicians practicing usual care. Three hundred twenty-six patients were randomized in the emergency room to a 6-month program of risk factor management by a registered nurse versus participation in usual care. The nurse intervention consisted of a 30-minute counseling visit at 6 to 10 days after the chest pain episode and a second 30-minute session 1 month later. Multiple risk factors were assessed and addressed: smoking, blood lipids, blood pressure, blood glucose, physical inactivity, weight, psychological stress, and social isolation. Compared with usual care, nurse intervention patients significantly reduced both triglycerides (-29 ± 8 vs 5 ± 6 mg/dl; p <0.0004) and weight (-0.9 ± 3.3 vs +0.1 ± 2.1 kg; p = 0.0071), and had corresponding improvements in self-reported diet compliance and exercise (+34 ± 106 vs +9 ± 98 minutes, p = 0.0491). No significant differences between groups were observed in terms of 6-month changes in total, high-density lipoprotein, or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, blood pressure, fasting blood glucose, percent body fat or waist-hip ratio, or psychological distress scores. The 6-month rate of recurrent events (cardiac death, out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, myocardial infarction) and/or revascularizations (coronary artery bypass surgery or coronary angioplasty) was lower in the nurse intervention group (1% vs 9%; p = 0.002). We conclude that a nurse-delivered risk factor intervention program for patients with chest pain is feasible and more effective than usual care in terms of fostering lifestyle changes that may lower coronary risk. Copyright (C) 2000 Excerpta Medica Inc.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine