Article Text

Download PDFPDF
What is known about heart failure in sub-Saharan Africa: a scoping review of the English literature
  1. Kellen Kimani1,2,
  2. Elizabeth Namukwaya2,3,
  3. Liz Grant4 and
  4. Scott A Murray5
  1. 1School of Public Health, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
  2. 2Centre for Population Health Sciences, the Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  3. 3Makerere Palliative Care Unit, Department of Medicine, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
  4. 4Global Health Academy, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  5. 5Primary Palliative Care Research Group, The Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kellen Kimani, School of Public Health, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 19676-00200, Nairobi, Kenya; K.N.Kimani{at}


We systematically reviewed and summarised existing knowledge on heart failure in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). We searched the following databases Web of Science, EMBASE, Ovid MEDLINE, PsychINFO, Global Health, CINAHL and African Journals Online using a combination of key words: heart failure or congestive heart failure or cardiac failure. We limited our search to studies conducted in SSA and articles published 2000–2014. Twenty-seven articles met our inclusion criteria and all were quantitative studies. Existing knowledge is focused on 3 key areas: (1) epidemiology of heart failure, (2) psychological burden of heart failure, and (3) patient knowledge and compliance to treatment. SSA would benefit from longitudinal qualitative research on the experience of living with heart failure.

  • Heart failure
  • Psychological care
  • Spiritual care
  • Supportive care
  • Social care

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.