Heart Failure Care Delivery in the COVID-19 Era: The Patients' Perspective

Healthcare (Basel). 2021 Mar 1;9(3):245. doi: 10.3390/healthcare9030245.


Purpose: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is changing healthcare delivery around the world with hospital systems experiencing a dramatic decline in patient volumes. Surveying our center's heart failure (HF) clinic population, we aimed to understand our patients' perception of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and care delivery preferences. Methods: Patients with chronic HF presenting either in-person or virtually were approached to complete a ten question, anonymous, voluntary survey. Acutely decompensated patients and heart transplant recipients were excluded. Results: 109 patients completed the survey. Average age was 62 ± 14 years, 67% were male, and 59% had HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). Overall, patients were worried about contracting COVID-19 and believed they were prone to more severe infection given their underlying HF. However, they were not hesitant to initiate healthcare contact for symptoms and preferred in-person appointments over virtual visits. Although the difference did not reach statistical significance, female patients and those with HF with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) were more concerned. Conclusions: Patients with HF are concerned about their increased risk of contracting COVID-19. However, they are actively seeking healthcare contact and prefer in-person over virtual visits.

Keywords: COVID-19; heart failure care delivery; patient survey; telemedicine.