The impact of COVID-19 on the management of heart failure: a United Kingdom patient questionnaire study

ESC Heart Fail. 2021 Apr;8(2):1324-1332. doi: 10.1002/ehf2.13209. Epub 2021 Jan 18.


Aims: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has created significant challenges to healthcare globally, necessitating rapid restructuring of service provision. This questionnaire survey was conducted amongst adult heart failure (HF) patients in the United Kingdom (UK), to understand the impact of COVID-19 upon HF services.

Methods and results: The survey was conducted by the Pumping Marvellous Foundation, a UK HF patient charity. 'Survey Monkey' was used to disseminate the questionnaire in the Pumping Marvellous Foundation 's online patient group and in 10 UK hospitals (outpatient hospital and community HF clinics). There were 1050 responses collected (693/1050-66% women); 55% (579/1050) were aged over 60 years. Anxiety level was significantly higher regarding COVID-19 (mean 7 ± 2.5 on anxiety scale of 0 to 10) compared with anxiety regarding HF (6.1 ± 2.4; P < 0.001). Anxiety was higher amongst patients aged ≤60 years about HF (6.3 ± 2.2 vs. 5.9 ± 2.5 in those aged >60 years; P = 0.005) and COVID-19 (7.3 ± 2.3 vs. 6.7 ± 2.6 those aged >60 years; P < 0.001). Sixty-five per cent of respondents (686/1050) reported disruption to HF appointments (cancellation or postponement) during the lockdown period. Thirty-seven per cent reported disruption to medication prescription services, and Thirty-four per cent reported inability to access their HF teams promptly. Thirty-two per cent expressed reluctance to attend hospital (25% stated they would only attend hospital if there was no alternative, and 7% stated that they would not attend hospital at all).

Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant anxiety amongst HF patients regarding COVID-19 and HF. Cancellation or postponement of scheduled clinic appointments, investigations, procedures, prescription, and monitoring services were implicated as sources of anxiety.

Keywords: COVID-19; Heart failure; Patient; Survey.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control
  • Communicable Disease Control*
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / psychology*
  • Heart Failure / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Preference
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Telemedicine / organization & administration*
  • United Kingdom
  • Young Adult