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Physicians' experiences of palliative care for heart failure patients
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1688-8991
2011 (English)In: European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, ISSN 1873-1953, E-ISSN 1474-5151, Vol. 10, no 1, 64-69 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Although heart disease is the single most common cause of death knowledge about palliative care for this group of patients is deficient.

AIM: The aim of this study was to describe physicians' experiences of palliative care for heart failure patients.

METHODS: Fifteen physicians at a medical geriatrics clinic were interviewed. The interviews were analysed using thematic content analysis.

RESULTS: The results show that the physicians are confronted with patients with an unpredictable disease trajectory, including patients with severe symptoms, uncertainty about anticipating the course of dying and encountering close relative's anxiety and frustration. The physicians face difficult situations regarding whether to continue or withdraw care and medical treatment which means deciding concerning 'active' medical treatment, cardio pulmonary resuscitation and an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). The physicians acknowledge the necessity for better structured follow-ups and cooperation with outpatient settings. They recognize that there is a lack of follow-ups and continuity of care and treatment at the hospital, involving their passing on or retaining responsibility for the patients' medical care.

CONCLUSION: From the physicians' view clarification of who is principally responsible for the patient's medical care, being involved throughout the disease trajectory and cooperating more closely with palliative care services are necessary to further improve the way in which care is delivered to patients dying of heart failure.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 10, no 1, 64-69 p.
Keyword [en]
Heart failure, Palliative care, Physician, Interview, Thematic analysis
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-34655DOI: 10.1016/j.ejcnurse.2010.04.005ISI: 000288361600010PubMedID: 20471321OAI: diva2:323359
Available from: 2010-06-10 Created: 2010-06-10 Last updated: 2015-07-03Bibliographically approved

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Brännström, Margareta
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