Spirituality in Patients With Heart Failure.
With advances in heart failure (HF) treatment, patients are living longer, putting further emphasis on quality of life (QOL) and the role of palliative care principles in their care. Spirituality is a core domain of palliative care, best defined as a dynamic, multidimensional aspect of oneself for which 1 dimension is that of finding meaning and purpose. There are substantial data describing the role of spirituality in patients with cancer but a relative paucity of studies in HF. In this review article, we explore the current knowledge of spirituality in patients with HF; describe associations among spirituality, QOL, and HF outcomes; and propose clinical applications and future directions regarding spiritual care in this population. Studies suggest that spirituality serves as a potential target for palliative care interventions to improve QOL, caregiver support, and patient outcomes including rehospitalization and mortality. We suggest the development of a spirituality-screening tool, similar to the Patient Health Questionnaire-2 used to screen for depression, to identify patients with HF at risk for spiritual distress. Novel tools are soon to be validated by members of our group. Given spirituality in HF remains less well studied compared with other patient populations, further controlled trials and uniform measures of spirituality are needed to understand its impact better.
Tobin, RS; Cosiano, MF; O'Connor, CM; Fiuzat, M; Granger, BB; Rogers, JG; Tulsky, JA; Steinhauser, KE; Mentz, RJ
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