Christi Deaton, Florence Nightingale Foundation Professor of Clinical Nursing Research, will lead a new programme of research to improve the care of patients with a common form of heart failure called Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction (HFpEF). The National Institute of Health Research School of Primary Care Research (NIHR SPCR) has awarded a grant of £633,846 for the research: “Optimising Management of Patients with Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction in Primary Care”.
HFpEF is a condition which occurs in around half of all patients with heart failure. In affected patients, the main pumping chamber of the heart – the left ventricle – becomes stiff and functions abnormally. In patients who have been hospitalised for HFpEF, the condition is associated with increased rates of readmission and mortality.
Professor Deaton will lead a research team composed of investigators from the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, Manchester and Keele to develop a programme of optimised management by improving understanding of the needs and experiences of patients with HFpEF, clinical decision-making and management in primary care, and integrating research findings with patient and clinical expertise. The study includes a systematic review, qualitative research, a longitudinal cohort study, and consensus methods to develop the optimised management programme.
This is a tremendous opportunity to improve the care of a vulnerable group for whom there is little evidence for management. About 50% of patients with heart failure have a preserved ejection fraction, and they are typically older with multiple comorbid conditions. Management of comorbidities is thought to be key to managing HFpEF, as these proinflammatory conditions drive the development and progression of HFpEF. However we also need to consider the burden of treatment that this imposes on patients who may have advanced age and frailty.”
– Professor Christi Deaton
A qualitative study funded by NIHR SPCR connected to this research has already begun in Cambridge. Dr. Ian Wellwood and Dr. Francesca Rosa are working with Professor Deaton to interview patients with HFpEF, and clinicians from primary care and specialist services. Professor Deaton explained: “We want to learn from patients and clinicians about the challenges that they face, and what patients think will help them to self-manage or what clinicians need to care for patients with HFpEF.”
“Ultimately it is about improving patient care and outcomes. We think that what we learn from this research will be of benefit in helping us to develop and test that optimised programme of management.”
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School for Primary Care Research is a partnership between nine leading academic centres for primary care research in England. The School’s main aim is to increase the evidence base for primary care practice through high quality research and strategic leadership. https://www.spcr.nihr.ac.uk/