Introduction: Black patients have a higher incidence of heart failure (HF) and worse outcomes than white patients. Guidelines recommend palliative care for patients with advanced HF, but no studies have examined outcomes in a black patient cohort. Methods: This is a post hoc analysis of the Palliative Care in Heart Failure trial, which randomized patients to usual care plus a palliative care intervention (UC+PAL) or usual care (UC). Quality of life (QoL) was measured using Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ) and Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Palliative Care scale (FACIT-Pal). Results: Black patients represented 41% of the 148 patients. At six months, QoL improved more in UC+PAL than UC for both racial subgroups. The difference was greater for black than white patients (difference: KCCQ 10.8 vs. 2.5; FACIT-Pal: 14.8 vs. 3.9). However, the findings were not statistically significant. Conclusions: Larger studies are needed to assess the benefits of palliative care for black patients with HF. ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01589601.
Keywords: heart failure; palliative care; quality of life; race.