A survey on the quality of care among patients with heart failure in Europe
Dietz R., Follath F., Gavazzi A., Hobbs R., Korewicki J., Madeira HC., Preda I., Van Gilst WH., Widimsky J., Mareev V., Mason J., Freemantle N., Eastaugh J.
Background: The EUROHEART programme is a rolling programme of cardiovascular surveys among the member nations of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). These surveys will provide information on the nature of cardiovascular disease and its management. This manuscript describes a survey into the nature and management of heart failure. Aims: The EuroHeart Failure survey aims to describe the quality of hospital care, diagnostic and therapeutic, for patients with suspected or confirmed heart failure in ESC member countries. Patients will be interviewed subsequent to hospital discharge to assess their understanding of their condition, side effects from and their compliance with therapy and their satisfaction with the management for heart failure. The quality of management will be judged against the recommendations contained in the ESC guidelines on diagnosis and treatment of heart failure. Outcome will be further assessed by repeat interviews in 6-12 months time. A further survey of heart failure in 2001/2002 is also planned. Methods: A prospective survey of all deaths and discharges from medical (cardiology, internal medicine and geriatric medicine) and cardiac surgical wards to identify patients with heart failure, suspected or confirmed. Approximately 70 hospital clusters, comprising two to six hospitals in each cluster, in 24 member countries of the ESC are conducting the study. At the time of writing, approximately 30000 deaths and discharges have been screened and approximately 4000 patients have been enrolled. Conclusions: The EuroHeart Survey will allow actual practice to be compared to ESC guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure. The surveys and guidelines should prove mutually informative. The main EuroHeart Failure project will be completed by late 2000. However, new centres volunteering to participate in the study (contact corresponding author) may be accepted providing they have the necessary research personnel and provided funding can be agreed for statistical support and administration. (C) 2000 European Society of Cardiology.