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Kansas City, Missouri 64111


Heart failure is a chronic and frequently terminal illness associated with poor quality of life and high burden of morbidity, re-hospitalization, and cost. Accordingly, recent guideline updates have highlighted the need for improved focus on end-of-life and palliative care of advanced heart failure patients, in whom symptom burden can be high and treatment options are often limited. The aims of this study are to evaluate the feasibility of implementing a semi-structured, outpatient, nurse practitioner-led, educational supportive care intervention concerning multiple domains of end-of-life care not often included in regular, outpatient clinic visits.

Study summary:

This study will be a prospective pilot enrolling 10 patients with advanced disease admitted to the heart failure service at St. Luke's Mid America Heart Institute and who are not candidates for advanced therapies such as heart transplant or mechanical circulatory support (left ventricular assist device). Potential enrollees will be identified using a validated risk model that predicts death or poor quality of life in the six months after discharge from the hospital for heart failure exacerbation. Enrolled patients will complete validated questionnaires while still hospitalized, regarding health-related quality of life, illness acceptance, prioritization of different life goals, and confidence in decision-making regarding their terminal heart failure. Patients will then be given a paper exercise regarding delineation of an end-of-life plan and appointment of a surrogate medical decision-maker, to be completed after discharge. At their regularly scheduled admission follow-up visit with seven days of discharge, participants will be asked to bring their medical decision maker and participate in a semi-structured supplemental palliative care/education session facilitated by a heart failure nurse practitioner trained in palliative care discussions. Domains included in the intervention will include disease literacy and understanding, goals of care, legal issues for patients with terminal illness, symptom management, health-related quality of life, caregiver burden, patient autonomy, healthcare utilization, and establishment of end-of-life plans. Outcomes to be measured after the intervention include repeated validated questionnaires and unstructured patient interviews at 1 month and, at 6 months, creation of a formalized end-of-life plan, change in code status, obtainment of an advanced directive, designation of a durable power of attorney, frequency of re-hospitalizations, emergency room visits and unscheduled clinic visits with providers, and death. These will be obtained at the time of regularly scheduled heart failure clinic follow-up visits or over the phone.


Inclusion Criteria: - advanced heart failure - ineligible for advanced therapies - 50% risk of death or continued poor heart failure-related health status at 6 months from hospital discharge, based on validated risk score Exclusion Criteria: - Hospice enrollment - Previous heart transplant or left ventricular assist device placement



Primary Contact:

Principal Investigator
John A Spertus, MD, MPH
Saint Luke's Hospital

Backup Contact:


Location Contact:

Kansas City, Missouri 64111
United States

There is no listed contact information for this specific location.

Site Status: N/A

Data Source: ClinicalTrials.gov

Date Processed: January 21, 2020

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