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For professionals: Heart failure clinical guidelines

For health professionals


For professionals: Heart failure clinical guidelines

Guidelines for the prevention, detection and management of heart failure in Australia 2018

In 2021-2022, 140,000 people self-reported as living with heart failure, and an average of 9 people died of heart failure every day. This equates to one person dying of heart failure every 3 hours. 

The National Heart Foundation of Australia and Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand’s Guidelines for the prevention, detection and management of heart failure in Australia 2018 provide evidence-based guidance on the clinical management of patients with heart failure.

In addition to reviews of published trials and systematic reviews, guideline content was informed by other international clinical guidelines and local clinical expertise.   

Who are the guidelines for? 

These guidelines have been designed for Australian health professionals including general practitioners, cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, nurses, pharmacists, and other allied health professionals.

What’s in the guidelines? 

  • Recommendations and key practice points on heart failure informed by assessments of the certainty of evidence.  

  • Comprehensive information about the symptoms, signs and diagnosis of heart failure including echocardiography. 

  • Classifications of heart failure including heart failure with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (HFrEF) and heart failure with preserved left ventricular ejection fraction (HFpEF) and diagnostic algorithms.  

  • Treatment recommendations including pharmacological management, implantable cardioverter defibrillators, cardiac resynchronisation therapy and atrial fibrillation ablation.  

  • Advice on best practice care for patients including telephone support, nurse-led chronic disease management programs, exercise and cardiac rehabilitation, and palliative care.  

Who endorses these guidelines? 

  • The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC)  

  • The Australian and New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons (ANZSCTS)  

  • The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)  

  • The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM)  

  • The Council of Remote Area Nurses of Australia (CRANA)  

  • The Australian College of Nursing (ACN)  

  • The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA)  

  • The Royal Australian College of Physicians (RACP) 

How were the guidelines developed? 

The guidelines were developed by the Heart Foundation and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand based on current evidence. The guidelines were written by members of the working group who are leading experts in their fields.

The approach to development and consultation was designed to ensure appropriate stakeholder representation and engagement in the guideline writing process. Recommendations were made using the established Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations (GRADE) approach to assess the certainty of evidence.

Further information about the guideline development process can be found within the guidelines.  

Governance and conflicts of interest  

The following documents outline the governance and process for the development of the guidelines, and the conflicts of interest for the Working and Reference Groups.  

Australian Bureau of Statistics. National Health Survey.

Australian Bureau of Statistics. Causes of death, Australia.

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Last updated06 February 2024