Criteria for Referral of Advanced Heart Failure Patients: Specialized Palliative Care

Advanced heart failure patients need a lot of supportive care. Although it is not always apparent who should be referred for specialist palliative care and when, but it can be helpful. In order to establish consensus referral standards for expert palliative care for patients with advanced heart failure, researchers performed a Delphi survey of international specialists.

Over the course of 3 rounds, clinicians with experience integrating cardiology and palliative care from 5 different continents were asked to score 34 disease-based, 24 need-based, and 9 time-based criteria. A priori, consensus was established as an agreement of ≥70%. If the experts agreed that satisfying the criterion alone was enough to support a referral, the criterion was marked as significant.

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