Palliative Care for Patients With Heart Failure With Preserved Ejection Fraction.
Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) has become the leading form of heart failure worldwide, particularly among elderly patient populations. HFpEF is associated with significant morbidity and mortality that may benefit from incorporation of palliative care (PC). Patients with HFpEF have similarly high mortality rates to patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. PC trials for heart failure have shown improvement in quality of life, quality of death, and health care utilization, although most trials defined heart failure clinically without differentiating between HFpEF and heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. As such, the timing and role of PC for HFpEF care remains uncertain, and PC referral rates for HFpEF are very low despite potential improvements in important patient-centered outcomes. Specific barriers to referral include limited data, prognostic uncertainty, provider misconceptions about PC, inadequate specialty PC workforce, complexities of treating multimorbidity, and limited home care options for patients with heart failure. While there are many barriers to integration of PC into HFpEF care, there are multiple potential benefits to patients with HFpEF throughout their disease course. As this population continues to grow, targeted efforts to study and implement PC interventions are needed to improve patient quality of life and death.
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