We have developed a new, evidence-informed, self-help manual (the “REACH-HF Manual”) for people with heart failure and caregivers to help them manage their condition using the principles of cardiac rehabilitation. The manual is designed to be used with the support of a specially trained cardiac nurse or ‘facilitator’.

We have evaluated the clinical effectiveness, cost effectiveness and acceptability of the manual for people with heart failure and their caregivers.

Our research team benefited from the involvement of the investigators who led and published the five major trials of cardiac rehabilitation in the UK. The team has expertise in methodology (medical statistics, health economics, qualitative research, psychology, health behaviour change, evidence synthesis and modelling) and clinical practice (cardiology, primary care, cardiac rehabilitation, nursing and physiotherapy) and uniquely involves service users. The Heart Manual Service, NHS Lothian (with extensive experience in delivery and implementation of the Heart Manual for people after myocardial infarction or revascularisation) has been and continues to be a key collaborator.

REACH-HF started as an independent research programme funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under its Programme Grants for Applied Research scheme (Reference Number RP-PG-1210-12004), and built upon work previously conducted by the research team during an NIHR Programme Development Grant award (Reference Number RP-DG-0709-10111). The views expressed are those of the research team and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.