State of Research on Palliative Care in Heart Failure as Evidenced by Published Literature, Conference Proceedings, and NIH Funding

Kira Xie, Laura Gelfman, Jay R. Horton, Nathan E. Goldstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background Heart failure (HF) is the most common diagnosis in hospitalized patients older than 65 years of age. Although these patients often need specialist-directed palliative care, <10% ever receive these services. This may be due to a lack of evidence examining the benefits of palliative care for these patients. To understand the current state of research on the interface of palliative care and HF, we examined trends in publications, presentations at national meetings, and National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. Methods Using key terms, we identified items about palliative care and HF in the following sources: (1) the tables of contents of nine leading cardiology journals, (2) abstracts of conference proceedings from four cardiology societies, and (3) all NIH grants from 2009 to 2013. Results Of the journals reviewed, fewer than 1% of their publications related to palliative care. Less than 2% of HF-related sessions in conference proceedings mentioned palliative care. Of the NIH's $45 billion directed to HF research, only $14 million (0.03%) was spent on palliative care research. Conclusions Despite calls for improving palliative care for patients with advanced HF, a lack of sufficient attention persists in research abstracts, concurrent sessions at national meetings, and NIH funding to increase the evidence base. Without these improvements, the ability to deliver high-quality specialist palliative care to patients with HF and their families will remain severely limited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-200
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Cardiac Failure
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2017

Keywords

  • Heart failure
  • aging
  • morbidity
  • palliative care

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