Understanding how a palliative-specific patient-reported outcome intervention works to facilitate patient-centred care in advanced heart failure: A qualitative study

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Background:Palliative care needs of patients with chronic heart failure are poorly recognised. Policy makers advise a patient-centred approach to holistically assess patients’ needs and care goals. Patient-reported outcome measures are proposed to facilitate patient-centred care.Aim:To explore whether and how a palliative care–specific patient-reported outcome intervention involving the Integrated Palliative care Outcome Scale influences patients’ experience of patient-centred care in nurse-led chronic heart failure disease management clinics.Design:A feasibility study using a parallel mixed-methods embedded design was undertaken. The qualitative component which examined patients and nurses experience of the intervention is reported here. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and analysed using framework analysis.Setting/participants:Eligible patients attended nurse-led chronic heart failure disease management clinics in two tertiary referral centres in Ireland with New York Heart Association functional class II–IV. Nurses who led these clinics were eligible for inclusion.Results:In all, 18 patients and all 4 nurses involved in the nurse-led clinics were interviewed. Three key themes were identified: identification of unmet needs, holistic assessment and patient empowerment. The intervention impacted on processes of care by enabling a shared understanding of patients’ symptoms and concerns, facilitating patient–nurse communication by focusing on these unmet needs and empowering patients to become more involved in clinical discussions.Conclusion:This Integrated Palliative care Outcome Scale–based intervention empowered patients to become more engaged in the clinical consultation and to highlight their unmet needs. This study adds to the evidence for the mechanism of action of patient-reported outcome measures to improve patient-centred care and will help inform outcome selection for future patient-reported outcome measure research.

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