A study published in the British medical journal The Lancet has called for nurse-coordinated, multidisciplinary, family-based cardiology programmes in both hospitals and general practice to reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk.
The EUROACTION care model was developed by the European Society of Cardiology to overcome the problem of CVD prevention in routine clinical practice.
A randomised trial led by Professor David Wood, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, UK, was carried out in eight European countries comprising six pairs of hospitals and six pairs of general practices.
Over 5,000 patients took part in the study, which was coordinated by nurses working with dieticians, physiotherapists and doctors, and which focussed on the whole family. The trial tackled lifestyle issues, as well as addressing blood pressure, cholesterol and cardioprotective drug use.
The authors said: “EUROACTION was intentionally set up in busy general hospitals and general practices, outside specialist cardiac rehabilitation centres, to provide a service for all coronary and high risk patients in routine clinical practice.
They concluded: “EUROACTION has shown that standards of preventive care in general hospitals and general practices across Europe can be improved … EUROACTION is a model of preventive cardiology, which has been successfully implemented and assessed, and can be used in routine clinical practice.
“To achieve the effects of EUROACTION we need to go beyond specialised cardiac rehabilitation services and provide local preventive cardiology programmes, appropriately adapted to the medical, cultural, and economic setting of a country.”