Assessing patients needs in outpatients with advanced heart failure
AbstractBackground. Because of the progressive ageing of the population and the extensive use of recommended drugs, the number of patients with advanced heart failure (AHF) constantly increases. AHF is the most common cause of acute hospital admission. The outcome and quality of life are generally poor for repeated hospital readmission. Objective. To assess a mixed method approach: face-to-face semi-structured qualitative interview incorporating quantitative analysis of demographic data and qualitative exploration of perception of needs in outpatients AHF, plus Barthel score [BS], Short Portable Mental Status Questionnaire [SPMSQ] and Moriski Medication Adherence Scale [MS]). Methods. Longitudinal prospective study in 50 elderly (age > 75 years) patients with AHF (stage C and D AHA/ACC plus almost two hospital admission in the last 12 months with main diagnosis of HF). Patients and caregivers were asked what they considered to be their main needs, including social support and the provision of practical care, psychological support; and information and choice. In the same time, BS, SPMSQ and MS were delivered. Main Results. The main areas of needs identified by patients were knowledge of available social and health services (80%) and disease and lifestyle habits (respectively 66% and 72% of patients), clear identification of the care-manager (70%), awareness of alarm and worsening symptoms (60%). Patients experienced difficulty in communication and information exchange, and fragmented co-ordination between social and care services was identified. The quality of life was generally poor for repeated hospital readmission, mainly for poor adherence to drugs and lifestyle, lacking attention to new onset or worsening symptoms, no planning of hospital discharge and for inadequate social support. Conclusions. The semi-structured interview is a useful tool to identify the patient information and educational needs. The main care needs identified by advanced HF outpatients relate to the everyday social and practical aspects of care. There is a need to reform the delivery of care to address the educational and lifestyle support.
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