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Nurse-assisted and multidisciplinary outpatient follow-up among patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis: A systematic review

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  • Malene Barfod O’Connell, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Flemming Bendtsen, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Vibeke Nørholm, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Anne Brødsgaard
  • Nina Kimer, University of Copenhagen

Background and objective Liver cirrhosis represents a considerable health burden and causes 1.2 million deaths annually. Patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis have a poor prognosis and severely reduced health-related quality of life. Nurse-led outpatient care has proven safe and feasible for several chronic diseases and engaging nurses in the outpatient care of patients with liver cirrhosis has been recommended. At the decompensated stage, the treatment and nursing care are directed at specific complications, educational support, and guidance concerning preventive measures and signs of decompensation. This review aimed to assess the effects of nurse-assisted follow-up after admission with decompensation in patients with liver cirrhosis from all causes. Method A systematic search was conducted through February 2022. Studies were eligible for inclusion if i) they assessed adult patients diagnosed with liver cirrhosis that had been admitted with one or more complications to liver cirrhosis and ii) if nurse-assisted follow-up, including nurse-assisted multidisciplinary interventions, was described in the manuscript. Randomized clinical trials were prioritized, but controlled trials and prospective cohort studies with the intervention were also included. Primary outcomes were mortality and readmission, but secondary subjective outcomes were also assessed. Results and conclusion We included eleven controlled studies and five prospective studies with a historical control group comprising 1224 participants. Overall, the studies were of moderate to low quality, and heterogeneity across studies was substantial. In a descriptive summary, the 16 studies were divided into three main types of interventions: educational interventions, case management, and standardized hospital follow-up. We saw a significant improvement across all types of studies on several parameters, but currently, no data support a specific type of nurse-assisted, post-discharge intervention. Controlled trials with a predefined intervention evaluating clinically- and practice-relevant endpoints in a real-life, patient-oriented setting are highly warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0278545
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

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