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1.  Heart failure in young adults: 20-year trends in hospitalization, aetiology, and case fatality in Sweden 
European Heart Journal  2013;35(1):25-32.
To describe trends in incidence and case fatality among younger (18–54 years) and older (55–84 years) Swedish patients with heart failure (HF).
Methods and results
Through linking the Swedish national hospital discharge and the cause-specific death registries, we identified patients aged 18–84 years that were discharged 1987–2006 with a diagnosis of HF. Age-specific mean incidence rates per 100 000 person-years were calculated in four 5-year periods. Kaplan–Meier survival curves were plotted up to 3 years. From 1987 to 2006, there were 443 995 HF hospitalizations among adults 18–84 years. Of these, 4660 (1.0%) and 13 507 (3.0%) occurred in people aged 18–44 and 45–54 years (31.6% women), respectively. From the first to the last 5-year period, HF incidence increased by 50 and 43%, among people aged 18–34 and 35–44 years, respectively. Among people ≥45 years, incidence peaked in the mid-1990s and then decreased. Heart failure in the presence of cardiomyopathy increased more than two-fold among all age groups. Case fatality decreased for all age groups until 2001, after which no further significant decrease <55 years was observed.
Increasing HF hospitalization in young adults in Sweden opposes the general trend seen in older patients, a finding which may reflect true epidemiological changes. Cardiomyopathy accounted for a substantial part of this increase. High case fatality and lack of further case fatality reduction after 2001 are causes for concern.
PMCID: PMC3877433  PMID: 23900697
Heart failure; Incidence; Prognosis; Comorbidity; Young adults
2.  Effects of person-centred care in patients with chronic heart failure: the PCC-HF study 
European Heart Journal  2011;33(9):1112-1119.
Person-centred care (PCC) emphasizes a partnership in care between patients and healthcare professionals and is advocated by WHO as a key component of quality health care. We evaluated outcomes of PCC in hospitalized patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) with respect to the length of hospital stay (LOS), activities of daily living (ADL), health-related quality of life (HRQL) and 6-month readmission rate.
Methods and results
During 2008–2010, 248 consecutive patients hospitalized for symptoms of worsening CHF were enrolled in a controlled before and after designed study. A Usual care group (n= 123) was recruited according to pre-defined criteria to map usual CHF care and assess outcomes at five designated hospital wards. Based on the mapping, a panel of in-house clinicians and researchers developed measures aimed at aligning usual care with basic PCC principles. These measures were incorporated into a study protocol to guide care procedures at the same five wards. Person-centred care was then implemented at these wards and evaluated in 125 patients. Both length of hospital stay and 6-month readmission were extracted from patient records. Activities of daily living were evaluated at baseline and discharge and HRQL was evaluated at baseline and after 3 months. In the analysis of all patients, the LOS was reduced by 1 day (P= 0.16) while retaining ADL (P= 0.07). When PCC was fully implemented (per protocol analysis), LOS was reduced by 2.5 days (P= 0.01) and the ADL-level better preserved (P= 0.04). Health-related quality of life and time-to-first readmission did not differ.
In this proof-of-concept study, our findings suggest that a fully implemented PCC approach shortens hospital stay and maintains functional performance in patients hospitalized for worsening CHF, without increasing risk for readmission or jeopardizing patients' HRQL.
PMCID: PMC3751966  PMID: 21926072
Patient-centred care; Chronic heart failure; Disease management programmes; Person-centered medicine; Person-centered care
3.  Attitudes among healthcare professionals towards ICT and home follow-up in chronic heart failure care 
eHealth applications for out-of-hospital monitoring and treatment follow-up have been advocated for many years as a promising tool to improve treatment compliance, promote individualized care and obtain a person-centred care. Despite these benefits and a large number of promising projects, a major breakthrough in everyday care is generally still lacking. Inappropriate organization for eHealth technology, reluctance from users in the introduction of new working methods, and resistance to information and communication technology (ICT) in general could be reasons for this. Another reason may be attitudes towards the potential in out-of-hospital eHealth applications. It is therefore of interest to study the general opinions among healthcare professionals to ICT in healthcare, as well as the attitudes towards using ICT as a tool for patient monitoring and follow-up at home. One specific area of interest is in-home follow-up of elderly patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). The aim of this paper is to investigate the attitudes towards ICT, as well as distance monitoring and follow-up, among healthcare professionals working with this patient group.
This paper covers an attitude survey study based on responses from 139 healthcare professionals working with CHF care in Swedish hospital departments, i.e. cardiology and medicine departments. Comparisons between physicians and nurses, and in some cases between genders, on attitudes towards ICT tools and follow-up at home were performed.
Out of the 425 forms sent out, 139 were collected, and 17 out of 21 counties and regions were covered in the replies. Among the respondents, 66% were nurses, 30% physicians and 4% others. As for gender, 90% of nurses were female and 60% of physicians were male. Internet was used daily by 67% of the respondents. Attitudes towards healthcare ICT were found positive as 74% were positive concerning healthcare ICT today, 96% were positive regarding the future of healthcare ICT, and 54% had high confidence in healthcare ICT. Possibilities for distance monitoring/follow-up are good according to 63% of the respondents, 78% thought that this leads to increased patient involvement, and 80% thought it would improve possibilities to deliver better care. Finally, 72% of the respondents said CHF patients would benefit from home monitoring/follow-up to some extent, and 19% to a large extent. However, the best method of follow-up was considered to be home visits by nurse, or phone contact.
The results indicate that a majority of the healthcare professionals in this study are positive to both current and future use of ICT tools in healthcare and home follow-up. Consequently other factors have to play an important role in the slow penetration of out-of-hospital eHealth applications in daily healthcare practice.
PMCID: PMC3537518  PMID: 23190602
4.  Patients with worsening chronic heart failure who present to a hospital emergency department require hospital care 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:132.
Chronic heart failure (CHF) is a major public health problem characterised by progressive deterioration with disabling symptoms and frequent hospital admissions. To influence hospitalisation rates it is crucial to identify precipitating factors.
To characterise patients with CHF who seek an emergency department (ED) because of worsening symptoms and signs and to explore the reasons why they are admitted to hospital.
Patients (n = 2,648) seeking care for dyspnoea were identified at the ED, Sahlgrenska University Hospital/Östra. Out of 2,648 patients, 1,127 had a previous diagnosis of CHF, and of these, 786 were included in the present study with at least one sign and one symptom of worsening CHF.
Although several of the patients wanted to go home after acute treatment in the ED, only 2% could be sent home. These patients were enrolled in an interventional study, which evaluated the acute care at home compared to the conventional, in hospital care. The remaining patients were admitted to hospital because of serious condition, including pneumonia/respiratory disease, myocardial infarction, pulmonary oedema, anaemia, the need to monitor cardiac rhythm, pathological blood chemistry and difficulties to communicate.
The vast majority of patients with worsening CHF seeking the ED required hospital care, predominantly because of co-morbidities. Patients with CHF with symptomatic deterioration may be admitted to hospital without additional emergency room investigations.
PMCID: PMC3315737  PMID: 22401538
Chronic heart failure; Hospitalisation; Deterioration; Emergency care
5.  Relationship between blood pressure levels and adherence to medication in patients with chronic heart failure: How come? 
To investigate whether change in objective signs during up-titration of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)-inhibitors in patients with chronic heart failure affect perception of information about medicines and subjective activities such as self-care.
Consecutive patients referred for up-titration of ACE-inhibitors were included. Patients were given the Satisfaction with Information about Medicines Scale and the European Heart Failure Self-Care Behaviour Scale at their first visit and when the target dose was reached. Blood pressure, pulse and s-creatinine were measured at each visit.
Relationships were found between change in systolic (r = 0.224, p = 0.044) and diastolic (r = 0.361, p = 0.001) blood pressure and change in self-care scores and were also observed at baseline (r = 0.324, 0.398, p = 0.001, 0.000) and follow-up (r = 0.317, 0.253, p = 0.004, 0.022). Diastolic blood pressure correlated with the “potential problem of medication” score (r= −0.263, p = 0.007).
Patients with a more advanced disease usually have a lower blood pressure. Hence, the relationship between blood pressure and self-care scores might indicate that patients are more motivated to adhere to prescriptions the more advanced the stage of their disease.
PMCID: PMC2672438  PMID: 19436649
blood pressure; chronic heart failure; adherence; scales
6.  Symptom recognition and health care seeking among immigrants and native Swedish patients with heart failure 
BMC Nursing  2008;7:9.
It is not known what patient perceptions or beliefs lead to beneficial decisions or response patterns in symptom interpretation among heart failure (HF) patients, especially immigrants. The aim of this study was to explore and compare symptom recognition and health care seeking patterns among immigrants and native Swedes with HF.
The study used a qualitative design. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 42 patients with HF, of whom 21 were consecutively selected immigrants and 21 were randomly selected Swedish patients. The interviews were analysed using content analysis.
A majority of the immigrant patients sought health care for symptoms and signs, such as breathing difficulties, fatigue and swelling. Twice as many immigrants as Swedes were unaware of "what the illness experience entailed" and which symptoms indicated worsening of HF.
The symptoms that patients sought care for, were similar among immigrants and Swedes. However, when interpreting symptoms more immigrants were unaware of the connection between the symptoms/signs and their HF condition. More tailored educational interventions might improve recognition of worsening symptoms in immigrant patients with chronic heart failure.
PMCID: PMC2447827  PMID: 18590538
7.  Worsening chronic heart failure and the link to frequent hospital admissions and need of specialist care 
Worsening chronic heart failure (CHF) is largely characterised by disabling symptoms, poor quality of life, frequent hospital admissions and need of specialist care. Lack of alternative care results in involuntary hospitalisation.
In a pilot study evaluate home care (HC) versus conventional care (CC) in relation to medical safety, health-related quality of life (HRQL) and cost-utility in patients with worsening CHF.
Thirty-one patients with deteriorating CHF were randomised to HC or CC when seeking medical attention at hospital. Patients in the HC group were discharged from the hospital and were followed-up in their homes by a specialist nurse. Patients in the control group were treated in hospital with usual care. Follow-ups were conducted for both groups, 1, 4, 8 and 12 months after inclusion in the study. Health-related quality of life assessed by EuroQol-5D VAS, Standard Gamble technique, SF-36 and Kansas City cardiomyopathy Questionnaire. All health care related costs were assessed and cost utility analysis was performed to compare cost/QALYs between groups.
There was no significant difference in clinical events, adverse events or in HRQL. The total cost related to CHF was lower in the HC group after 12 months. Median direct health care related costs in HC were € 1122 and in CC € 5670 (p 0.05). Cost/QALYs ranged € 74–580 in HC compared to CC € 289–1013, calculated from each follow-up. The cost utility ratio was (CC/HC) 2.55 (SG) and 2.65 (VAS).
Reductions in cost of care for selected patients with CHF eligible for hospital care might be achieved by a very early discharge from hospital followed by home visits. More importantly, HC seems to be safe and no difference was found in HRQL between two groups. This pilot study provides clinicians with useful information in their decisions concerning CHF patient management, who are reluctant to hospitalisation.
PMCID: PMC2430295
chronic heart failure; healthcare cost; quality-adjusted life years; home care; cost-utility analysis; safety

Results 1-7 (7)