Heart Failure: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Medical Treatment Guidelines, and Nursing Management

Nurs Clin North Am. 2015 Dec;50(4):787-99. doi: 10.1016/j.cnur.2015.07.012.


Heart failure (HF) is a debilitating chronic disease and is expected to increase in upcoming years due to demographic changes. Nurses in all settings have an essential role in supporting patients in managing this disease. This article describes the pathophysiology of HF, diagnosis, medical management, and nursing interventions. It is crucial for nurses to understand the pathophysiology of HF and the importance that nursing actions have on enhancing medical management to alleviate symptoms and to deter the advancement of the pathophysiologic state. Such an understanding can ultimately reduce morbidity and mortality and optimize quality of life in patients with HF.

Keywords: Heart failure; Heart failure nursing; Heart failure pathophysiology; Heart failure therapy; Nursing management of heart failure.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Heart Failure / diagnosis
  • Heart Failure / nursing
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology*
  • Heart Failure / therapy
  • Humans
  • Nursing Process*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • United States