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The heart failure illness trajectory is both complex and unpredictable, which makes providing palliative care services to patients with heart failure a challenge. As a result, although services are needed, few tend to be offered beyond basic medical management. The traditional model of palliative care is typically based on palliative care being considered a system of care delivery most appropriate for patients with a predictable illness/death trajectory, such as terminal cancer. This type of model, which is based on the ability to predict the course of a terminal disease, does not fit the heart failure trajectory. In this article, we propose a new model of palliative care that conceptualizes palliative care as a philosophy of care that encompasses the unpredictable nature of heart failure. © 2009 The Author(s).


Published in final edited form as:

Hupcey, J. E., Penrod, J., & Fenstermacher, K. (2009). Review article: A model of palliative care for heart failure: American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine®.


This is the accepted version of the publication.

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