The existing data suggest that significant gaps exist between palliative care needs of heart failure patients and the provision of palliative care, with few patients, and their families, receiving the appropriate care as the disease reach advanced stage or they approach the end of life [1-3]. This Task Force will establish the current state of clinical practice of palliative care for this particular patient group in European countries and their unmet needs for palliative care and possible approaches to cover them will be assessed.
This will include consideration of appropriate triggers that would suggest early provision of palliative care (understood as supportive care throughout the course of disease, parallel to and together with cardiological care). At present access to palliative care may be only for people who are thought to be imminently dying and there is a need to ensure palliative care is seen to be helpful and appropriate more widely . Cardio-teams or General Practitioners will provide most palliative care with support from specialized Palliative Care Teams for complex patients.
The Task Force will aim to identify currently existing gaps in care provision, structures and skills needed, as well as in theoretical basics of palliative care interventions, specifically for people with heart failure will allow the development of a research agenda. The Task Force will aim to summarize current practice, and suggest possible management approaches and models of delivering palliative care for adults with heart disease.
1.Kavalieratos D, Kamal AH, Abernethy AP, et al. Comparing Unmet Needs between Community-Based Palliative Care Patients with Heart Failure and Patients with Cancer. J Palliat Med. 2014;17(4):475-481.
2. Xu J, Nolan MT, Heinze K, et al. Symptom frequency, severity, and quality of life among persons with three disease trajectories: cancer, ALS, and CHF. Appl Nurs Res. 2015;28(4):311-315.
3. Evangelista LS, Liao S, Motie M, et al. Does the type and frequency of palliative care services received by patients with advanced heart failure impact symptom burden? J Palliat Med. 2014;17(1):75-79.
4. Kavalieratos D, Mitchell EM, Carey TS, et al. "Not the 'grim reaper service'": an assessment of provider knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions regarding palliative care referral barriers in heart failure. Journal of the American Heart Association. 2014;3(1):e000544.