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What impact do specialist and advanced-level nurses have on people living with heart failure compared to physician-led care? A literature review

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Dean Anderson, Victoria Clemett

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Research in Nursing
Issue number0
Published16 Sep 2020

King's Authors


Background: The inclusion of specialist nurses in multi-disciplinary teams is the current gold standard for care of people with heart failure (HF) in the UK; however, they remain underutilised in practice. Though existing systematic reviews favourably compare advanced nursing roles to physician-led care, none has focused solely on HF. Aim: To investigate the impact of specialist and advanced nurse-led care on the clinical outcomes, quality of life and satisfaction of people with HF compared to physician-led care. Methods: Literature review and narrative synthesis. Results: This review included 12 studies and categorised their measured outcomes into five domains: mortality; hospital admissions and length of stay; HF diagnosis and management; quality of life and patient satisfaction; and finally, self-assessment and self-care. Five studies appraised as medium or low risk of bias suggest the impact of specialist and advanced-level nurses on people with HF to be broadly equivalent to physicians regarding mortality, hospital admissions and length of stay, while superior in terms of self-assessment and self-care behaviours. Conclusions: There were too few studies of sufficient methodological quality to draw definitive conclusions. However, no evidence was found to suggest that nurse-led services are any less effective or safe than physician-led services.

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