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Examining the effects of an outpatient palliative care consultation on symptom burden, depression, and quality of life in patients with symptomatic heart failure

  • Author(s): Evangelista, LS
  • Lombardo, D
  • Malik, S
  • Ballard-Hernandez, J
  • Motie, M
  • Liao, S
  • et al.
Abstract

Background: We conducted this prospective comparative study to examine the feasibility and effectiveness of a palliative care consultation along with standard heart failure care in an outpatient setting regarding symptom burden, depression, and quality of life (QOL). Methods and Results: Thirty-six patients (53.6 ± 8.3 years old) were referred for an outpatient palliative care consultation after discharge. Changes in symptom burden, depression, and QOL at 3 months were compared with 36 patients with symptomatic heart failure matched on age, sex, race, and New York Heart Association functional class. Improvements were observed in symptom burden, depression, and QOL in both groups over time (all P < .005), but were more pronounced in patients receiving a palliative care consultation (all P < .035). Conclusions: A palliative care consultation may reduce symptom burden and depression and enhance QOL in patients with symptomatic heart failure. Larger-scale randomized controlled trials sufficiently powered to assess clinical outcomes are warranted to determine the efficacy of palliative care services in outpatient settings regarding symptom distress, depression, and QOL in patients with symptomatic heart failure. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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