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Revista Cuidarte

Print version ISSN 2216-0973On-line version ISSN 2346-3414


PEREZ SANDOVAL, Leidy Paola; MORENO GARCIA, Jenny Rocío  and  BARBOZA GALINDO, Adriana Paola. Symptom Cluster among Patients with Advanced Heart Failure: A Systematic Review. Rev Cuid [online]. 2021, vol.12, n.2, e1302.  Epub Oct 01, 2021. ISSN 2216-0973.


Advanced heart failure leads to severe clinical and functional deterioration in patients. Over the years, research has been focused on the evaluation of symptoms and alleviation of suffering. This study aims to identify symptom clusters among patients with advanced heart failure in order to contribute towards knowledge consolidation.

Materials and Methods

The PICO strategy helps define the key review question developed through PRISMA, involving searches in Scopus, PubMed, Embase and Google Scholar. Primary source articles on advanced heart failure which had been published between 2010 and 2019 in English and Spanish, excluding the pediatric population, were considered for this review. We carried out a descriptive analysis of the symptoms found in the articles.


A total of 11 out of 8000 studies were selected for a complete review, most of them are cross-sectional studies in which sample characterization corresponds to 50% of men aged 56 to 83 years. Fatigue, sleeping difficulty and dyspnea were some of the symptoms found in the physical symptom cluster, while depression, cognitive deterioration and concern were found in the emotional symptom cluster. Evaluations of symptoms by geographic region were also found.


There is a general consensus about the classification of symptoms in physical and emotional clusters. However, it is surprising to find out that edema is not included in any of them.


Two studies from the same author but published in different years were included in the review as the population and clusters were the same but different variables such as quality of life and functional status were studied.


Having diverse populations, study types and analysis methods do not allow applying a single approach to grouping the most frequent symptoms in patients with advanced heart failure.

Keywords : Symptom Assessment; Heart Failure; Syndrome.

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