Background: Heart failure is a common cause of death and causes significant morbidity in its advanced stage. As the illness progresses, lack of physical health may overshadow psychological, social and existential distress.
Aims: To explore the impact of advanced heart failure on other aspects of the patients' lives.
Methods: We undertook a secondary analysis of interview data generated for a qualitative longitudinal study looking at the experiences of patients with advanced heart failure, and their family and professional carers. A sub set of patient, family and professional carer interview transcripts was selected for thematic analysis. The sample was chosen to reflect a range of age, gender and social situations.
Results: Eighteen transcripts from five cases were examined. Three key themes were identified: 1) social isolation; 2) psychological issues and coping strategies; and 3) existential concerns.
Conclusions: Psychosocial and existential issues are important aspects of the lives of patients suffering from heart failure. Holistic management should encompass an awareness of exploration and support for these dimensions.
- Heart failure
- social needs
- qualitative research
- palliative care
- PROSPECTIVE QUALITATIVE INTERVIEW
- PALLIATIVE CARE
- UNDERSTAND PATIENTS