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Project description

Integrating palliative care into heart failure management

Integrating palliative care (PC) into heart failure (HF) management is a challenge. Only a small fraction of HF patients (between 5 % and 7 %) currently benefit from PC services. Late referrals, focused primarily on therapeutic optimisation, often overlook patients’ multidimensional needs, leading to undertreatment and diminished quality of life. In this context, the EU-funded RAPHAEL project will use a patient-centred approach to prioritise individual needs, aided by the PAL@HEART app for home monitoring and intervention evaluation. By addressing concerns promptly, RAPHAEL enhances patients’ quality of life, reduces hospitalisations and alleviates strain on healthcare systems. Spanning seven EU Member States, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, RAPHAEL’s interdisciplinary consortium pioneers a scalable model for global implementation.


While the need for integrating palliative care (PC) services into heart failure (HF) care has been well recognised, as of yet this integration lacks behind, especially when compared to cancer care. Currently, only 5-7% of patients with HF utilise PC services, due to a focus on optimising therapy and an unpredictable disease trajectory with exacerbations which hampers prognosis. As a result, many symptoms and concerns that are not directly related to HF are not recognised and undertreated and patients are often referred to PC services only at the very end of their lives.

The RAPHAEL consortium sets out to take the next big step in integrating PC into HF care by integrating the RAPHAEL palliative care approach in existing HF care pathways. This flexible and patient centred approach starts with the identification of multidimensional symptoms and concerns, prioritise needs with patient and informal carer and formulate a proactive care plan. The symptoms and concerns will be monitored by the patient at home using the PAL@HEART application. The app can be used to evaluate interventions, support communication and earl identify new or increasing needs. As a result, the care needs of each individual patient with HF are addressed faster and better, improving their quality of life and autonomy. Moreover, this will lead to a reduction in emergency hospitalisations, unburdening the healthcare system and reducing costs.

The RAPHAEL project sets out to adapt the RAPHAEL approach to HF care within a European context and test and validate its (cost-)effectiveness via a feasibility and large-scale evaluation study performed in 7 EU countries, the UK and Switzerland. It brings together experts in palliative care, cardiology, and primary care as well as professional organisations and patient representatives. Together the RAPHAEL consortium is uniquely situated to demonstrate the (cost-)effectiveness of the RAPAHEL approach and launch its implementation in Europe and beyond.


Net EU contribution
€ 1 484 318,75
3584 CX Utrecht

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West-Nederland Utrecht Utrecht
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 1 484 318,75

Participants (12)

Partners (2)