Palliative care needs of heart failure patients in China: putting people first

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Recognizing the rising prevalence of heart failure in China, patients with heart failure have substantial palliative needs. This review highlights recent evidence on the epidemic of heart failure, identifies needs and potential benefit of palliative care in heart failure, and sets future strategic policy and research directions in China.

Recent findings

Epidemiological studies demonstrate the prevalence of heart failure among women is higher than men in China and increases substantially with age. However, few studies have addressed the palliative needs of Chinese heart failure patients. The main themes from this review include: Healthcare providers should be culturally sensitive whenever assessing symptoms and needs. Locally validated, brief outcome measures are called for to identify symptoms and needs of Chinese heart failure patients. Palliative care should be better integrated into the management of heart failure through increased training for healthcare providers, policy development, financial support, and cultural acceptance of palliative care.

Summary

Large-scale epidemiological studies are urgently needed to assess the current situation of heart failure in China, alongside interventional studies to drive the development of innovative palliative care services to address the needs of Chinese heart failure patients.

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