Communication about the Heart Failure Trajectory in Patients, their Families and Health Care Professionals

The dissertation of Lisa Hjelmfors, defended at the Linkoping University, Sweden, in 2018 underlines the importance for palliative care guidelines in acute care settings, as plead for by Susanne Lind. Hjemfors study focus on patients with heart failure.

This study shows that prognosis and end-of-life care are seldom discussed with patients with heart failure in Swedish and Dutch health care. Also, health care professionals may have ambiguous attitudes towards discussing these topics with patients and their families. Lack of education and training to discuss the prognosis and end-of-life care with patients and their families was mentioned as barrier.

Patients indicated that they did receive different messages about their heart failure trajectory from the health care professionals.

The study concludes that ‘End-of-life care simulations has shown great promise for health care professionals to practice end-of-life care conversations’.