Characteristics for a tool for timely identification of palliative needs in heart failure: The views of Dutch patients, their families and healthcare professionals

Daisy J. A. Janssen*, Stephanie M. C. Ament, Josiane Boyne, Jos M. G. A. Schols, Hans-Peter Brunner-La Rocca, Jose M. C. Maessen, Marieke H. J. van den Beuken-van Everdingen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Web of Science)



Palliative care can improve outcomes for patients with advanced chronic heart failure and their families, but timely recognition of palliative care needs remains challenging.


The aim of this study was to identify characteristics of a tool to assess palliative care needs in chronic heart failure that are needed for successful implementation, according to patients, their family and healthcare professionals in The Netherlands.


Explorative qualitative study, part of the project 'Identification of patients with HeARt failure with PC needs' (I-HARP), focus groups and individual interviews were held with healthcare professionals, patients with chronic heart failure, and family members. Data were analysed using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research.


A total of 13 patients, 10 family members and 26 healthcare professionals participated. Direct-content analysis revealed desired tool characteristics for successful implementation in four constructs: relative advantage, adaptability, complexity, and design quality and packaging. Healthcare professionals indicated that a tool should increase awareness, understanding and knowledge concerning palliative care needs. A tool needs to: be adaptable to different disease stages, facilitate early identification of palliative care needs and ease open conversations about palliative care. The complexity of chronic heart failure should be considered in a personalized approach.


The current study revealed the characteristics of a tool for timely identification of palliative care needs in chronic heart failure needed for successful implementation. The next steps will be to define the content of the tool, followed by development of a preliminary version and iterative testing of this version by the different stakeholders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1474515120918962
Pages (from-to)711-720
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing
Issue number8
Early online date5 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Instrument
  • end-of-life
  • palliative medicine
  • assessment
  • implementation
  • congestive heart failure

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