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
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
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