Symptoms experienced in the last six months of life in patients with end-stage heart failure.
2003 (English)In: European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, ISSN 1873-1953, E-ISSN 1474-5151, ISSN 1474-5151, Vol. 2, no 3, 213-7 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Background: Despite today's modern therapy, the advancement of chronic heart failure (CHF) has not been curbed (Dying from heart failure: lessons from palliative care, BMJ, 317, 1998, 961–962, Editorial). Consequently, the suffering in patients with end-stage CHF is still present. The knowledge on the frequency of symptoms in these patients is scarce. Aims: The aim of this study was to achieve a deeper understanding of patients with end-stage CHF and to describe symptoms in these patients during the last 6 months of life by examining documentation in medical records. Methods: The study adopted a descriptive, retrospective design using record reviews to collect data, in which 80 medical records of patients hospitalised for CHF in 1995 were reviewed. Descriptive statistics and Student's t-tests were performed. Results: Breathlessness was the most common symptom (men 90%, women 86%). The largest gender difference was on limitation in physical activity (men=77%, women=37%, total=49%, P=0.001). Conclusion: (1) Twenty-one symptoms were observed, implicating that, patients with CHF in later stages of the disease experience a wide range of symptoms. (2) Despite the fact that several symptoms were documented by both nurses and physicians, it is quite remarkable that symptom-controlling measures were only provided sparingly. (3) A palliative care approach may benefit patients suffering from end-stage CHF.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. Vol. 2, no 3, 213-7 p.
Activities of Daily Living, Aged, Aged; 80 and over, Anorexia/etiology, Anxiety/epidemiology/*etiology/prevention & control, Constipation/etiology, Cough/etiology, Documentation/standards, Dyspnea/epidemiology/*etiology/prevention & control, Fatigue/epidemiology/*etiology/prevention & control, Female, Heart Failure; Congestive/*complications/physiopathology/psychology, Humans, Male, Nausea/etiology, Pain/epidemiology/*etiology/prevention & control, Palliative Care/methods, Questionnaires, Research Support; Non-U.S. Gov't, Retrospective Studies, Sex Distribution, Sleep Disorders/etiology, Sweden/epidemiology
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-74974DOI: 10.1016/S1474-5151(03)00059-8PubMedID: 14622629OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-74974DiVA: diva2:102884