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March 2012 Br J Cardiol 2012;19:25 doi:10.5837/bjc.2012.004

Hearing the voice of the heart failure patient: key experiences identified in qualitative interviews

Chad J Gwaltney, Ashley F Slagle, Mona Martin, Rinat Ariely, Yvonne Brede

Abstract

Introduction Clinical trials for new heart failure treatments have traditionally focused on mortality and hospitalisations as primary end points.1,2 Although clearly important, these end points tell us little about how heart failure (HF) patients experience their illness and treatment in their day-to-day life. HF may affect patients’ quality of life more than many other chronic diseases, including diabetes and arthritis.3,4 Symptoms and quality of life, as reported by patients, are correlated with mortality and hospitalisations,5-7 suggesting that these concepts may be indicative of an underlying process that ultimately manifests in death a

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