OxFAB: patient-reported outcome in chronic heart failure
Two of the most common, and often the most difficult to manage, symptoms of chronic heart failure include fatigue and breathlessness. These symptoms usually greatly affect peoples’ daily lives and quality of life. However, there is currently no measure or questionnaire to specifically understand these symptoms. OxFAB explores the impact of breathlessness, sleep, fatigue and breathing in general on patients, and has already demonstrated itself to be valid, consistent and reliable. It is a 22-item questionnaire, and its development was based upon patient participation throughout the wording of the questions. This instrument may potentially be of great use in clinical practice to help patients communicate their symptoms of chronic heart failure to clinicians. Specifically, its use lies in the fact that most heart failure questionnaires discuss broad physical symptoms, and not specific environmental factors, as well as their impact on daily life.
This review by Walthall H et al. aimed to develop a patient-based symptom questionnaire for patients with chronic heart failure to allow them to accurately communicate their fatigue and breathlessness symptoms.
OxFAB holds great potential in being a reliable, accurate tool for allowing chronic heart failure patients to communicate their symptoms. This will open a conversation between clinicians and patients in a more meaningful manner to allow for more accurate symptom perception. In turn, this may enhance self-management and symptom management in general.