The provision of home-based palliative care for those with advanced heart failure

Curr Opin Support Palliat Care. 2014 Mar;8(1):4-8. doi: 10.1097/SPC.0000000000000024.


Purpose of review: Although widely recognized as best practice for advanced heart failure patients, palliative care is underused by this population. The purpose of this brief review is to highlight recent findings related to home-based palliative care among patients with advanced heart failure.

Recent findings: This review considers new models of home-based palliative care and reports recent evidence on the effectiveness, and burden of these models for patients with advanced heart failure and their caregivers. New models currently under investigation and gaps in current research are presented.

Summary: New models integrating home-based palliative care and standard heart failure care have shown to be effective in reducing both physical and psychological symptoms in patients. Recent evidence suggests that home-based palliative care reduces hospitalizations and decrease the probability of 30-day re-admissions in patients with advanced heart failure; thus, potentially reducing costs of care and increasing likelihood of dying at home. However, caregiver burden for families of those with heart failure remains an issue. Research that addresses caregiver burden and the challenges of providing palliative care to patients with the uncertain disease trajectory seen in advanced heart failure require further research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Caregivers
  • Heart Failure / therapy*
  • Home Care Services / organization & administration*
  • Hospitalization / economics
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Palliative Care / organization & administration*
  • Patient Readmission / economics
  • Patient Readmission / statistics & numerical data