Unmet needs at the end of life of patients with heart failure

Valentina Gonzalez Jaramillo, University of Bern

Heartfailure (HF) is an increasing global pandemic. Several conditions such as population ageing and the presence of comorbidities as diabetes, obesity and hypertension can explain the rise in HF prevalence.
In 2015, the European Society of Cardiology urged policy makers to improve the end of life (EoL) care by addressing emotional and physical well-being through palliative care (PC). However, its use is not yet a standard of care and important unmet needs in the delivery of care have been identified in HF patients.
For some HF patients, besides pharmacological treatment, device implantation strategies are indicated and improve survival by preventing sudden death. However, at some point, the natural history of the disease leads to a change in treatment goals. Specifically, implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) must be reprogrammed to prevent unnecessary pain caused by shocks at the end of life. Some studies have reported the management of ICD at the EoL but there is a lack of comprehensive information about the status of this problem worldwide and in Switzerland. Therefore, we aimed to increase the knowledge about the current care at the EoL of patients with HF by describing the current situation and identifying gaps in the management.

Keywords: Heart Failure, unmet needs, end-of-life care, implantable cardioverter defibrillators

Short Biography

Valentina is PhD student at the Institute for PreventiveMedicine (ISPM) at the University of Bern. She obtained her Medical Doctor degree at the Universidad de Antioquia in Colombia. After that, she obtained her Master´s degree in Health Sciences, Clinical Epidemiology at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Now, she joined the group of Palliative Care and End of Life from ISPM and Inselspital. Her research is focused on the identification and coverage of unmet needs at the end of life in patients with heart failure.

« back to overview