Context Heart failure is a chronic complex syndrome that is common and burdensome. International clinical practice guidelines recommend that healthcare providers communicate palliative care options with patients with heart failure. Objectives The aim of this study was to conduct an integrative review to evaluate how healthcare providers perceived communication barriers to offering information to individuals in the palliative phase of heart failure. Methods Four databases and the gray literature were searched from January 1987 to February 2017. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied. Studies were graded for strength and quality using a critical appraisal tool, and key themes were extracted and synthesized. Results Ten articles met the full inclusion criteria. Most studies were qualitative or nonexperimental studies of good quality. Authors of several studies found that healthcare providers lacked basic knowledge about palliative care or did not possess sufficient knowledge to effectively provide care. Poor knowledge of palliative care created a barrier between the provider and the patient. Inadequate education or inexperience in palliative care led to the resistance of health providers to implementing a palliative approach. Conclusions The results of this review emphasize a lack of knowledge as a barrier to delivering palliative care. Healthcare providers caring for individuals with heart failure need palliative care knowledge, skills, and competencies to ensure that this vulnerable population receives holistic patient-centered care.
- healthcare provider
- heart failure
- palliative care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing