Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Care of heart failure patients falling short in UK

Date:
April 1, 2014
Source:
Durham University
Summary:
Care of patients with heart failure in the UK is inadequate and has not changed in a decade, according to new research. The study highlights inadequacies in heart failure care as well as an uncoordinated approach to diagnosis and management of the condition between primary and secondary care clinicians.

Care of patients with heart failure in the UK is inadequate and has not changed in a decade, according to new research published in BMJ Open.

The findings by a team at Durham University and Darlington Memorial Hospital -- and funded by national charity Heart Research UK -- highlight inadequacies in heart failure care as well as an uncoordinated approach to diagnosis and management of the condition between primary and secondary care clinicians.

The research showed that clinicians are uncertain about how to diagnose different types of heart failure and about who has overall responsibility for heart failure management.

There was also inconsistency in patients' access to tests and services and a lack of awareness by health professionals of dedicated heart failure clinics. Health professionals expressed concerns about how to care for heart failure patients affected by other diseases and taking other medicines.

Over 750,000 people are living with heart failure in the UK.

Lead investigator, Professor Ahmet Fuat, Honorary Clinical Professor in the School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health at Durham University, said: "Overall, staff told us that they were unsure of who had overall responsibility for heart failure from the point of diagnosis through to the end-of-life.

"Even though the government has spent a lot of money on improving heart services, some of the problems we were told about are the same as those found ten years ago. This is worrying because it means we are still not getting things right for patients with heart failure."

The researchers recommend the development of clear lines of responsibility, better education of GPs and non-heart specialist hospital doctors, and that the same high quality services and care pathways are available to all patients.

The project, led by a team from Durham University's School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health, looked at how clinicians diagnose and care for patients with heart failure, an increasing problem that affects about a million people in the UK but often goes undetected and under-treated.

The study involved interviewing GPs, cardiologists, physicians and heart failure nurses in small focus groups, and used the information to carry out a survey of 500 clinicians to compare heart failure care across the UK.

The diagnosis and treatment of heart failure is complicated and can lead to large differences in care. If diagnosed and treated properly, the symptoms of heart failure can be well controlled and the length and quality of life improved. New treatments are carefully assessed in clinical trials but there is very little research afterwards looking at the way care is delivered.

Barbara Harpham, National Director of Heart Research UK said: "As more people survive heart attacks and with the aging population, the incidence of heart failure is going to soar and, from this study, it appears that heart failure management and care have not kept pace. The challenge is out there -- there needs to be uniform care across the country and everyone involved has to change to give the best to their patients."

The study findings will be used to develop further research to improve diagnosis and care for heart failure patients in the areas of GP education, end-of-life care, and care pathways for diagnosis and management.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Durham University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. H. C. Hancock, H. Close, A. Fuat, J. J. Murphy, A. P. S. Hungin, J. M. Mason. Barriers to accurate diagnosis and effective management of heart failure have not changed in the past 10 years: a qualitative study and national survey. BMJ Open, 2014; 4 (3): e003866 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003866

Cite This Page:

Durham University. "Care of heart failure patients falling short in UK." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140401210410.htm>.
Durham University. (2014, April 1). Care of heart failure patients falling short in UK. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140401210410.htm
Durham University. "Care of heart failure patients falling short in UK." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140401210410.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins