Nurse-led heart failure clinics in Sweden

Eur J Heart Fail. 2001 Jan;3(1):139-44. doi: 10.1016/s1388-9842(00)00099-4.


Objective: The aim of this study was to describe the nurse-led heart failure care in Sweden.

Methods: A postal questionnaire was sent to all 86 hospitals in Sweden treating heart failure patients. All hospitals completed the questionnaire, which contained 20 questions about heart failure nurses, patient education, heart failure clinics, co-operation with primary healthcare and care programmes.

Results: Sixty-nine percent of all hospitals (n=86) had nurses specialised in taking care of heart failure patients, in total 148 heart failure nurses. The nurses were involved in patient education and follow-up. There were nurse-led heart failure clinics in 66% of the hospitals. The clinics provided follow-up after hospitalisation, telephone counselling and drug titration. The majority of the heart failure nurses had been delegated the responsibility for making protocol-led changes in medications. Most clinics registered the number of annual visits to the clinic, and the largest clinic had up to 1000 visits. Approximately half of the hospitals had a special care plan for patients with heart failure and an organised co-operation with primary healthcare.

Conclusion: The first nurse-led heart failure clinic started in Sweden in 1990 and since then the model has been spread to two-thirds of the Swedish hospitals.

MeSH terms

  • Heart Failure / nursing*
  • Hospital Administration*
  • Humans
  • Outpatient Clinics, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden