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Patients’ experiences of person-centred integrated heart failure care and palliative care at home: an interview study

Abstract

Objectives Patients with severe heart failure (HF) suffer from a high symptom burden and high mortality. European and Swedish guidelines for HF care recommend palliative care for these patients. Different models for integrated palliative care and HF care have been described in the literature. No studies were found that qualitatively evaluated these models. The purpose of this study is to describe patients' experiences of a new model of person-centred integrated HF and palliative care at home.

Method Interviews were conducted with 12 patients with severe HF (New York Heart Association class III–IV) and included in the research project of Palliative advanced home caRE and heart FailurE caRe (PREFER). Qualitative content analysis was used for data analysis.

Results Two themes and a total of five categories were identified. The first theme was feeling secure and safe through receiving care at home with the categories: having access to readily available care at home, being followed up continuously and having trust in the team members' ability to help. The second theme was being acknowledged as both a person and a patient, with the following two categories: being met as a person, participating in decisions about one’s care and receiving help for symptoms of both HF and comorbidities.

Conclusions Person-centred integrated HF and palliative care provides a secure environment and holistic care for patients with severe HF. This approach is a way to improve the care management in this population.

Trial registration number NCT01304381; Results.

  • clinical intervention
  • heart failure
  • palliative care
  • patient
  • person-centred care
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