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Heart Failure Matters: Keeping up-to-date

Heat Failure Congress News

Heart Failure

Updates to one of the HFA’s flagship resources,, will be unveiled at Heart Failure 2019. Aiming to help patients, families and caregivers understand thecomplex area of heart failure, the website, which has been translated into 10 languages, has recently been upgraded to enhance the content and make it even more user-friendly.

kenneth-dickstein-2019.jpgProfessor Kenneth Dickstein (University of Bergen, Stavanger, Norway), Heart Failure Matters Core Group Chair, describes some of the changes implemented. “When the website was developed around nine years ago, it was truly ground breaking in terms of providing information in a way that appealed to patients, featuring attractive animations to help users, many of whom are elderly and often web naïve, to explore the site. However, in 2017 it became apparent that there was a need to review the content and technology to ensure that users continued to get the full benefit from their visit. Navigating the site was highlighted as a particular problem and priority was given to improving this so that users could more easily find their way around it. In addition, all language translations have been reviewed and verified by a core group member, who is a native language speaker, and the patient videos, which are an incredibly popular area of the site, are now being produced by individual countries in their own language. The site also features new content, such as cancer therapy and heart failure and the special needs of young patients with heart failure.” The upgraded site will be promoted widely, including among the ESC’s 57 National Cardiac Societies and various global patient organisations. Commenting on potential future developments, Prof. Dickstein says, “We would like to see the site available in even more languages and also the automatic provision of the mobile-friendly version to the 55% of users who now prefer to access it via their phones.”


Tiny-JAARSMA-2019.jpgProfessor Tiny Jaarsma (Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden), Heart Failure Matters Core Group Member, adds her insight on the newly improved website, “Our intent with is to constantly meet the needs of patients and we also wanted to react to all the changes in the digital world since the website was first launched. has been made more attractive for the diverse range of patients, families and caregivers living with heart failure. The aim was to develop a calm and simple site that was easy to read and navigate, even for those with vision, literacy and cognition problems. Education and support should be provided to patients in different ways. In many cases, the revised site adds to available resources, as some people prefer different formats, e.g. printed information. However, in some countries, the website may be the only information available to patients and so providing up-to-date information is essential.”

Prof. Jaarsma continues, “As before, the website can be used to reinforce the information that has been discussed during consultations. Healthcare providers may also like to review the website with patients to open conversations and provoke questions. In addition, the website can be used as background, for example, patients can be asked to look up topics that will be discussed at their next visit. For those patients and caregivers who are engaged with social media, there is also now a page on Facebook where patients can share their views and experiences and we can post recent articles and the latest advice.”

Concluding, Prof. Dickstein admits, “The website has been a bigger project than I ever envisaged but being involved in something that has made a huge difference to the lives of countless patients has given me more pleasure than any other work I have done.”

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