Background Chronic heart failure is common, particularly in older
individuals, and comorbidities are frequent. Patients with
end stage heart failure can be highly symptomatic and
require careful monitoring and treatment adjustment to
Objective This article summarises the fundamentals of implementing
palliative care in general practice and provides guidelines on
caring for chronic heart failure patients at the end of life.
Discussion The high mortality in chronic heart failure underscores
the importance of effective communication, symptom
management and advanced care planning. The
unpredictability and uncertainty around the timing of death
mean that individuals, and their families, may be less likely
to have an understanding of their prognosis or have access
to supportive and palliative care. Ideally, patients with
symptomatic chronic heart failure should be managed in
collaboration with a multidisciplinary heart failure program.
Symptom management can be achieved by additive
therapies and access to specialist palliative care services
should be considered when the symptom burden is high.
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