Background: Cardiologists play a key role in multidisciplinary care by guiding heart failure (HF) management in the hospital and in the community. Regional implementation of multidisciplinary health care interventions depends on how they perceive collaboration with other health care disciplines, yet research on this topic is limited. This study aimed to explore the views and opinions of cardiologists on multidisciplinary collaboration in HF care. Methods: We conducted a qualitative study based on face-to-face semi-structured interviews with 11 Belgian cardiologists between September 2019 and February 2020. We used the Qualitative Analysis Guide of Leuven (QUAGOL) method as guidance for data analysis until data saturation was reached. Results: Cardiologists consider the general practitioner (GP) and HF nurse as the most important partners in HF management. Cardiologists identified four problems in current multidisciplinary collaboration: the communication of a HF diagnosis to the patient, advanced care planning, titration of HF medication by the GP and electronic data exchange and communication. Three themes emerged as ideas for improvement of HF care: 1) expansion of the role of the HF nurse, 2) implementation of a structured, patient-centered, and flexible model of disease management program and 3) integrated data approaches. Conclusion: Cardiologists value close cooperation with GPs in HF management. They advocate an expanded future role for the HF nurse, increased eHealth, and structured disease management to optimize current HF care.
- Heart failure