The correlation of standard heart failure assessment and palliative care questionnaires in a multidisciplinary heart failure clinic.

Journal of Pain and Symptom Management

PubMedID: 21444186

Ezekowitz JA, Thai V, Hodnefield TS, Sanderson L, Cujec B. The correlation of standard heart failure assessment and palliative care questionnaires in a multidisciplinary heart failure clinic. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2011;42(3):379-87.
CONTEXT
Heart failure (HF) is a leading cause of death and disability, and despite optimal care, patients may eventually require palliative care. Little is known about how palliative care questionnaires (the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale [ESAS] and the Palliative Performance Scale [PPS]) perform compared with HF assessment using the New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class and the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ).

OBJECTIVES
To assess the utility of a palliative care questionnaire in patients with HF.

METHODS
One hundred and five patients (mean age=65 years, 76% male, mean ejection fraction=28%) followed in an HF clinic were surveyed with the NYHA, PPS, ESAS, and KCCQ.

RESULTS
The PPS and ESAS were each correlated to the NYHA class (P<0.0001 for both) and the KCCQ score (PPS: R(2)=0.57; ESAS: R(2)=-0.72; both P<0.0001). There were 33 patients who either died (10 deaths) or were hospitalized (26 patients) for more than one year. In addition to age and gender, a higher (worse) ESAS score trended toward significance (P=0.07) and a lower (worse) PPS was a significant (P=0.04) predictor of all-cause hospitalization or death.

CONCLUSION
In a cohort of HF patients, we found a modest correlation with NYHA class and KCCQ assessment with the PPS and ESAS, two standard palliative care questionnaires. Given the difficulty in identifying patients with HF eligible for palliative or hospice care, these tools may be of use in clinical practice.