Effects of a Home-Based Palliative Heart Failure Program on Quality of Life, Symptom Burden, Satisfaction and Caregiver Burden: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Alina Yee Man Ng, Kam Yuet Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Context Provision of home-based palliative care (PC) for seriously ill patients is important, yet few home-based PC services specifically or exclusively focus on end-stage heart failure (ESHF) patients. Objectives This study aimed to examine the effect of a home-based palliative heart failure (HPHF) program on quality of life (QOL), symptoms burden, functional status, patient satisfaction, and caregiver burden among patients with ESHF. Methods This study was a two-group randomized controlled trial undertaken in three hospitals. We recruited a total of 84 hospitalized ESHF patients who were referred to PC. They were randomized to the intervention or control group. The intervention group received a 12-week structured program with regular home visits/telephone calls provided by the nurse case managers. Data were collected at baseline (T1) and at four (T2) and 12 weeks (T3) after discharge. Results A statistically significant between-group effect was found, with the HPHF group having significantly higher McGill QOL total score than the control group (P = 0.016) and there was significant group × time interaction effect (P = 0.032). There was no significant between-group effects detected for the measures of symptom distress or functional status at 12 weeks. The intervention group had higher satisfaction (P = 0.001) and lower caregiver burden (P = 0.024) than the control group at 12 weeks. Conclusion The HPHF program is effective in enhancing the QOL of ESHF patients, satisfaction with care, and caregiver burden. The program has potential to reduce distress for some of the symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • end-stage heart failure
  • Palliative care
  • randomized controlled trial
  • transitional care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Cite this