Chronic heart failure

December 2010

FocusChronic heart failure

Heart failure management

A team based approach

Volume 39, No.12, December 2010 Pages 894-896

Simon Stewart


Chronic heart failure (CHF) is an important condition that requires complex treatment and management.


This article outlines the key benefits of a team based approach to CHF management and the role of the different health professionals involved, including a central role for the patient’s general practitioner.


Specific management programs are designed to improve CHF related outcomes such as reducing hospitalisation rates and prolonging survival. There are many components to these programs and a team based approach is arguably the most important. Programs that apply multidisciplinary care (either via dedicated CHF clinics or community based teams) are consistently superior to those supplied by an individual.

Chronic heart failure (CHF) is a deadly and disabling syndrome that has reached epidemic proportions in Australia (and in other aging populations).1 Population based, hospital data from many countries,2 including Australia,3 has shown encouraging declines in the rate of CHF related admissions. However, the overall burden of CHF, in respect to the number of individuals affected, all related hospitalisations and persistently high mortality, remains unacceptably high. Unfortunately, CHF is now becoming a major health problem in the developing world.4 The continued burden and adverse impact of CHF defies the introduction of new pharmacological agents and devices that underpin contemporary expert guidelines.5

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