• beta adrenergic antagonists;
  • congestive heart failure;
  • quality of life;
  • clinical trials



To assess the impact of β-blocker therapy on quality of life (QoL) in chronic heart failure (CHF) patients receiving optimal standard medication.


Randomised controlled trials (RCT) assessing QoL with a generic or disease specific instrument were identified by searching Medline, Embase, Pascual, Cochrane Controlled Trial database, and the bibliographies of the published articles. Studies published between 1985 and 2002 were included, regardless of language of publication. Cochrane Review Manager 4.2 software was used to analyse the data and standardised mean difference (SMD) was calculated to assess the effect on QoL.


A total of 9 trials involving 1954 patients fit into the inclusion criteria for the analysis. QoL improved more in the β-blocker group compared to the control arm, but the SMD did not reach statistical significance (SMD, 0.07; 95%CI [−0.16, 0.02]; p = 0.13). Subgroup analysis, per type of β-blocker and various treatment follow-up showed similar results.


In this meta-analysis there is evidence that β-blocker therapy, on top of standard medication, does not impair QoL. Clinicians may add β-blockers to standard therapy without concerns of impairing QoL in patients with CHF. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.