At the opening of the EuroHeartCare congress, the annual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology's (ESC’s) Council on Cardiovascular Nursing and Allied Health Professions (CCNAP), a special plenary session will consider deprivation as the co morbidity in cardiovascular disease (CVD) without a treatment (1).
“Deprivation undoubtedly is the elephant in the room. We all know it plays an important role in CVD, but don’t know how to tackle the problem. One of the main issues is that interventions are developed by and geared towards people from higher socio-economic groups,” says Dr. Donna Fitzsimons, the chairperson of the Council on Cardiovascular Nursing and Allied Professions (CCNAP).
Speakers will cover subjects including disparities in cardiac care and tailoring nursing interventions to take account of deprivation and inequality.
“We’ll be thinking out of the box to provide ideas to reach out to people who are less interested in their heath. We’re starting to appreciate that it’s really important to have greater user involvement to ensure that interventions are developed in formats that are more attractive to the people who really need them,” says Dr. Fitzsimons.
Other sessions include studies presenting randomised controlled trials of biobehavioural (2) interventions for depression in patients with heart failure and about the role of exercise in heart failure self-management.
“Heart failure represents one of the most prevalent conditions in Scotland with an estimated 100,000 people living with the problem, and Glasgow is a world renowned centre for developing innovative models of health care delivery in this area, including end of life care.”
“At the heart of cardiovascular care” is the theme for this year’s EuroHeartCare congress. The topic has been especially chosen to reflect the fact that nurses and allied health professions deliver core services to patients hospitalized with acute cardiac problems and also have responsibility for long-term management in the community.
“Sessions will show the potential for nurses and allied professionals to undertake ever more specialized roles in cardiovascular care that go way beyond prescribing in sophistication,” says Dr Donna Fitzsimons, who holds a joint appointment at Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and the University of Ulster.
Key presentations demonstrating the expanding roles of nurses in all aspects of CVD include:
- Non physician triage, where nurses in Accident and Emergency departments ensure patients with chest pain are “fast tracked” to reach Cath Labs where blocked arteries are opened (3)
- Initiatives where nurses deliver services to patients with atrial fibrillation, managing anticoagulation therapy and implementing guidelines (4)
- Intravenous diuretic pilot project, showing how nurses in the community can trouble shoot problems for heart failure patients to prevent hospital admissions (5)
Of particular interest for the media are the 162 abstracts based on original research, to be presented throughout the meeting, including:
- Studies documenting the beneficial effects of alternative medicine on CVD, showing medical yoga reducing blood pressure and heart rate (6) and that acupressure delivers benefits in atrial fibrillation (7).
- Abstracts emphasizing gender differences, showing that cultural factors lead to women in Saudi Arabia with myocardial infarctions (MI), taking twice as long to reach hospital as men (8) ; and that understanding gender differences in the early symptoms of MI might facilitate earlier recognition of problems (9).
Altogether over 600 delegates from Europe, North America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand are expected to attend, with the choice of two simultaneous sessions covering wide ranging topics including acute cardiac practice, secondary prevention, rehabilitation, psychosocial care, guidelines, quality of life, ageing and cognitive deficits.
“EuroHeartCare offers the opportunity for delegates from a multidisciplinary background to hear all the latest developments in cardiovascular care. As well as cutting edge presentations in diagnosis, treatment, prevention and rehabilitation there’ll be plenty of occasions for networking with colleagues from across the globe,” says Catriona Jennings, the local host of the meeting, representing the British Association for Nursing in Cardiovascular Care, an affiliate group of the British Cardiovascular Society.
The CCNAP has recently announced that its annual meeting, formerly known as the Annual Spring Meeting on Cardiovascular Nursing, has been renamed EuroHeartCare.
“Our new title reflects that the meeting is truly international and multidisciplinary with conference speakers and delegates including allied health professionals and medical colleagues in addition to nurses,” concludes Dr. Fitzsimons.