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Project researcher: Dr Nicholas Jones, Academic Clinical Fellow

Heart failure (HF) is a common problem, affecting 1-2% of the population. It carries a significant morbidity and mortality for patients, worse in fact than most types of cancer. The costs to the NHS are also high, accounting for around 2% of the total budget, second only to stroke. 

Understanding prognosis for patients with chronic HF is important. Patients and clinicians need this information to inform management decisions and to allow meaningful and timely advanced care planning. Prognostic information is also important for public health and policy planning. 

Nicholas’ systematic review will describe how prognosis has changed over time in order to help analyse the impact of evidence-based treatment options on real-world survival time. The review will also describe key prognostic factors in chronic heart failure, information that will allow more personalised treatment for patients and a focus for future research. 

The review has been registered on PROSPERO and the protocol Nick and his colleagues have developed will be submitted for peer-reviewed publication. The methodology conforms with PRISMA guidance, including key steps to minimise the risk of bias such as ensuring each step of data screening and extraction is performed by two independent reviewers. The QUIPS and GRADE tools will be used to assess risk of bias within and between individual studies, respectively. 

Nicholas and his colleagues plan to complete the review by September 2018, when it will be submitted as a dissertation towards an MSc in Evidence-Based Healthcare as well as for publication in international medical journals. 

October 2017