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Call for papers - Palliative care in patients with heart failure

Guest Editors:
Valentina González-Jaramillo: University Center for Palliative Care, Inselspital University Hospital Bern, University of Bern, Switzerland 
Susanna Mak: University of Toronto, Canada
Rachel Wells: University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing, United States

Submission Status: Open   |   Submission Deadline: 8 August 2024

BMC Palliative Care is calling for submissions to our Collection on palliative care in patients with heart failure. Despite the growing recognition of the need for palliative care for patients with heart failure, many challenges still exist to making effective palliative care interventions available. 

Meet the Guest Editors

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Valentina González-Jaramillo: University Center for Palliative Care, Inselspital University Hospital Bern, University of Bern, Switzerland

Valentina González-Jaramillo is a physician and epidemiologist. After obtaining her MD, she did a one-year program in Clinical Research at Harvard Medical School and obtained her master's degree in Clinical Epidemiology at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Then, she moved to Switzerland for her PhD at the University of Bern. In the last five years, her research area has been palliative care in heart failure. She has studied the unmet needs of this population, tools to identify these needs, and the management of cardiac devices at the end of life. She is currently a researcher at the University Hospital Inselspital and lectures at several universities about the pharmacological and non-pharmacological management of patients with advanced heart failure.

Susanna Mak: University of Toronto, Canada

Susanna Mak is a Cardiologist and Clinician Scientist at the Lunenfeld Tanenbaum Research Institute, Sinai Health. She is also the Department of Medicine's Division Director for Cardiology and holds the Nadal Chair for Advanced Heart Failure Research. She completed subspecialty training in the care of advanced heart failure and received her PhD from the Institute of Medical Sciences at the University of Toronto. Her clinical interests concern initiatives to improve the quality of care for patients with acute and advanced chronic heart failure.

Rachel Wells: University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing, United States

Rachel Wells is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. As a nurse and Clinical Nurse Leader with over 10 years of clinical experience in cardiac critical care, palliative medicine, and rural health, her research bridges the fields of chronic illness care and early palliative care and is focused on refining palliative care access for underesourced older adults living with serious illness. More specifically, her emerging program of research focuses on the examination of active palliative care intervention elements and optimal dosing of palliative care to develop optimized interventions that uniquely address palliative care needs at the individual level, a novel approach to addressing health disparities in underresourced palliative care populations. Through a series of investigations, Dr Wells and others have examined components of multicomponent early palliative care interventions and confirmed intervention dose relationships with heart failure-related quality of life. She has been involved with a number of federally-, foundationally-funded, and intramurally-funded grants as a PI and Co-I that have involved intervention development and tailoring and clinical trials testing and implementation of models of early palliative care for those living with serious illness and their family caregivers. Dr Wells is regularly engaged in the IMPACT HF group of the Palliative Care Research Cooperative, the Annual Scientific Meeting Committee of the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses, and the Heart Failure SIG of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, where she has championed efforts to educate nurses to identify, monitor, and intervene early for cardiovascular complications in underresourced populations. 

About the Collection

Heart failure is a global pandemic. Despite significant advancements in cardiac therapy, heart failure continues to be a progressive, profoundly symptomatic, and life-threatening condition, imposing substantial burdens on patients, caregivers, and healthcare systems. Palliative care plays a crucial role in supporting patients with this condition, which significantly impacts their quality of life. While heart failure treatments focus primarily on managing the disease, palliative care addresses, additionally, other physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of patients and their families. Nevertheless, the integration of palliative care into the treatment of heart failure has faced several challenges, including the unpredictable nature of the disease progression, insufficient communication between healthcare providers and patients, fragmented care delivery, lack of knowledge, and the overlap of comorbidities and frailty.

In recognition of this relevant field, BMC Palliative Care has launched this Collection which encourages submissions including but not limited to those addressing:

  • Implementation of palliative care interventions, including needs assessment, health systems incentive, new processes of care
  • Outcomes of palliative care interventions for heart failure, including health services outcomes, patient-reported experiences, and outcomes, caregiver perspectives, care provider perspectives
  • Qualitative and quantitative evaluation of communication strategies for shared decision-making, advanced care planning, and goals of care discussions
  • New approaches to palliative care
  • Integration of palliative care in a changing landscape of goal-directed medical therapy, device care, and advanced heart failure interventions

Image credit: saksit /

  1. Values are broadly understood to have implications for how individuals make decisions and cope with serious illness stressors, yet it remains uncertain how patients and their family and friend caregivers discu...

    Authors: Avery C. Bechthold, Colleen K. McIlvennan, Daniel D. Matlock, Deborah B. Ejem, Rachel D. Wells, Jesse LeJeune, Marie A. Bakitas and J. Nicholas Odom
    Citation: BMC Palliative Care 2024 23:128
  2. While palliative care for patients with heart failure has gained global attention, in Iran most palliative care interventions have focused only on cancer patients. The purpose of this study is to determine the...

    Authors: Arvin Mirshahi, Marie Bakitas, Meysam Khoshavi, Ali Khanipour-Kencha, Seyed Mohammad Riahi, Rachel Wells, J. Nicholas Odom, Shahrzad Ghiyasvandian and Masoumeh Zakerimoghadam
    Citation: BMC Palliative Care 2024 23:22

Submission Guidelines

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This Collection welcomes submission of original Research Articles. Should you wish to submit a different article type, please read our submission guidelines to confirm that type is accepted by the journal. Articles for this Collection should be submitted via our submission system, Snapp. During the submission process you will be asked whether you are submitting to a Collection, please select Palliative care in patients with heart failure from the dropdown menu.

Articles will undergo the journal’s standard peer-review process and are subject to all of the journal’s standard policies. Articles will be added to the Collection as they are published.

The Editors have no competing interests with the submissions which they handle through the peer review process. The peer review of any submissions for which the Editors have competing interests is handled by another Editorial Board Member who has no competing interests.