The benefits of thermal clothing during winter in patients with heart failure: A pilot randomised controlled trial

Barnett, A.G., Lucas, M., Platts, D., Whiting, E. and Fraser, J.F. (2013) The benefits of thermal clothing during winter in patients with heart failure: A pilot randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open, 3 4: 1-7. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-002799

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Author Barnett, A.G.
Lucas, M.
Platts, D.
Whiting, E.
Fraser, J.F.
Title The benefits of thermal clothing during winter in patients with heart failure: A pilot randomised controlled trial
Journal name BMJ Open   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2044-6055
Publication date 2013-01-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-002799
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 3
Issue 4
Start page 1
End page 7
Total pages 7
Place of publication London, England, U.K.
Publisher B M J Group
Language eng
Subject 2700 Medicine
Formatted abstract


Objectives To examine whether providing thermal clothing to heart failure patients improves their health during winter.

Design A randomised controlled trial with an intervention group and a usual care group.

Setting Heart failure clinic in a large tertiary referral hospital in Brisbane, Australia.

Participants Eligible participants were those with known systolic heart failure who were over 50  years of age and lived in Southeast Queensland. Participants were excluded if they lived in a residential aged care facility, had incontinence or were unable to give informed consent. Fifty-five participants were randomised and 50 completed.

Interventions Participants randomised to the intervention received two thermal hats and tops and a digital thermometer.

Primary and secondary outcome measures
The primary outcome was the mean number of days in hospital. Secondary outcomes were the number of general practitioner (GP) visits and self-rated health.

Results The mean number of days in hospital per 100 winter days was 2.5 in the intervention group and 1.8 in the usual care group, with a mean difference of 0.7 (95% CI −1.5 to 5.4). The intervention group had 0.2 fewer GP visits on average (95% CI −0.8 to 0.3), and a higher self-rated health, mean improvement –0.3 (95% CI −0.9 to 0.3). The thermal tops were generally well used, but even in cold temperatures the hats were only worn by 30% of the participants.

Conclusions Thermal clothes are a cheap and simple intervention, but further work needs to be done on increasing compliance and confirming the health and economic benefits of providing thermals to at-risk groups.

Keyword Medicine, General & Internal
General & Internal Medicine
MEDICINE, GENERAL & INTERNAL
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
 
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Created: Mon, 24 Feb 2014, 23:14:46 EST by Matthew Lamb on behalf of School of Medicine