Keele collaborating with Cambridge, Oxford and Manchester on pioneering heart failure research

A Keele professor is working with colleagues from the universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Manchester to pioneer new treatment procedures to help doctors manage a type of heart failure.

Professor Carolyn Chew-Graham, of Keele University’s Research Institute of Primary Care and Health Sciences, is part of the team working on the “Optimise HFpEF” study - researching methods to help medical professionals treat people with a condition known as HFpEF (heart failure with preserved ejection fraction), one of two types of heart failure.

Optimise HFpEF is a research project funded by the National Institute for Health Research’s School for Primary Care Research, and is led by Professor Christi Deaton at Cambridge.

There is currently very little evidence on how to manage patients with HFpEF, who tend to be older, have other physical conditions such as diabetes, and also tend to have worse outcomes compared to patients with the second type of heart failure (HF with reduced ejection fraction, or HFrEF).

The overall aim of the project is to develop an optimised programme of management for patients with HFpEF that addresses comorbidities, self-management including lifestyle factors, burden of treatment, and transitions in care.

Professor Carolyn Chew-Graham said: “Heart failure (HF) accounts for 2% of NHS expenditure, and 5% of emergency hospital admissions, so it is important to investigate how to best manage people with heart failure. Currently there is very little evidence about how best to manage people with HFpEF.

“The aim of our study is to develop a programme of optimised management by improving our understanding of needs and experiences of patients with HFpEF. We want to explore clinical decision-making and management in primary care, and experiences of clinicians across the primary / specialist care interface.

“The qualitative work currently being conducted in Keele and Manchester aims to determine patient and health professionals’ preferences, perspectives on burden of illness and treatment, care needed, and organisation of services/support.

“As part of this study, we will be working with the Royal College of General Practitioners, and the Clinical Innovation and Research Centre, to develop a 'toolkit' for primary care clinicians to support the development of knowledge and expertise around the management of people with HFpEF.”