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Goals of Treatment

  • Improve survival

  • Correct the precipitating causes of the heart failure

  • Reduce left ventricle wall stress

  • Increase cardiac output

  • Reduce afterload

  • Improve quality of life

  • Minimize symptoms

  • Improve patient’s health perceptions

  • Support patient’s psychosocial adjustment to the illness [2]

  • Maintain as much of the patient’s physical functioning as possible [3]



It is important to realize that the effectiveness of heart failure treatment is extremely dependent on the availability, and willingness of the patient and the patient’s support group to get involved. As you may know, there is no quick fix to this illness, and the road to an improved quality of life can be long and arduous. Patients need to find the motivation within themselves and from their families and friends to make the necessary, and sometimes difficult lifestyle changes that pave the way to a longer life.



Biological factors

Women with HF are generally older and suffer from co-morbidities. Women also generally have a smaller surface area and smaller coronary arteries. Biological factors such as these should be considered when comparing potential treatments [4].


2. Brecht L, Dracup K, Moser D, Riegel B. The relationship of marital quality and psychosocial adjustment to heart disease. J Cardiovasc Nurs 1994;9:74-85.

3. Wenger N. Quality of life: can it and should it be assessed in patients with heart failure? Cardiology 1989;76:391-8?

4. Hussain KM, Kogan A, Estrada AQ, Kostady G, Foschi A, Dadkhah S.Referral pattern and outcome in men and women undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery—a critical review. Angiology 1998;49:243 –50.

All references for this section