Translating and testing the ENABLE: CHF-PC concurrent palliative care model for older adults with heart failure and their family caregivers

Academic Article


  • Background: Heart failure (HF) and palliative care (PC) organizations recommend early PC to improve the quality of life of patients living with HF. Objective: We conducted a two-phase formative evaluation study to translate a cancer-focused concurrent PC intervention into one that would be appropriate for rural-dwelling adults with New York Heart Association Class III-IV HF and their primary caregivers. Methods: Phase I: We tailored the intervention for an HF population via literature review, expert consultation, and clinician (N=15) small group interviews. Phase II: We enrolled 11 patient/caregiver dyads to assess intervention feasibility and satisfaction. We assessed participants' experiences and satisfaction after session/week three and session/week six via digitally recorded interviews. Clinician and participant interviews were transcribed and content analyzed. Outcome measures were evaluated for completion rates and effect sizes.Results: Phase I: Clinicians described barriers to initiating PC in HF, triggers for initiating PC, and suggestions for intervention improvement. Phase II: Participants were able to complete the majority of study sessions, measures, and interviews. Satisfaction interviews revealed the content to be relevant and comprehensive in addressing HF patient and caregiver primary concerns; however, participants unanimously suggested making the intervention available earlier in the illness trajectory. Efficacy measures demonstrated small to medium effect sizes.Conclusions: We tailored and demonstrated feasibility of providing an early, concurrent palliative care intervention to patients with advanced HF and their caregivers. Based on this experience we are now conducting an efficacy trial in a racially diverse sample.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Dionne-Odom JN; Kono A; Frost J; Jackson L; Ellis D; Ahmed A; Azuero A; Bakitas M
  • Start Page

  • 995
  • End Page

  • 1004
  • Volume

  • 17
  • Issue

  • 9