Palliative Care in Patients with Advanced Heart Failure: A Systematic Review




Heart Failure, Palliative Care, Quality of Life


Introduction: Heart failure is a disease with survival estimates of around 10% after 10 years of the disease. Being a chronic and debilitatingillness, it is important to investigate the potential efficacy of a palliative care approach for these patients. The aim of this study is to systematically review the efficacy of integrating palliative care in patients with advanced heart failure, including the outcomes overall quality of life and well-being, overall symptom burden and possible specific symptoms, hospital admission rates and mortality.
Material and Methods: The MEDLINE, Cochrane, EMBASE and CINAHL databases were searched for articles published between January 2010 and December 2020 about palliative care interventions in patients with heart failure. Clinical studies with humans with symptomatic heart failure were included, comparing the integration of palliative care with usual cardiac care.
Results: The search protocol resulted in seven eligible studies for review and qualitative synthesis. The overall risk of bias within studies was moderate to high. Most studies demonstrated improvements with the integration of palliative care in terms of quality of life and reduction of admission rates. The evidence to support a significant improvement in overall symptom burden was not so robust among studies.
Conclusion: Palliative care interventions seem, overall, to be significantly effective in patients with heart failure. Future studies with more rigorous study designs are needed, in order, to further develop the role of palliative care in heart failure patients.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

João Fernandes Pedro, Faculty of Medicine. University of Lisbon. Lisboa.

Editor Associado AMP-Student




How to Cite

Fernandes Pedro J, Reis-Pina P. Palliative Care in Patients with Advanced Heart Failure: A Systematic Review. Acta Med Port [Internet]. 2022 Feb. 1 [cited 2023 Mar. 23];35(2):111-8. Available from: