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Chronic heart failure patients’ experiences of German healthcare services: a protocol for a scoping review
  1. Mirjam Dieckelmann1,
  2. Felix Reinhardt1,
  3. Klaus Jeitler2,
  4. Thomas Semlitsch2,
  5. Jasper Plath1,
  6. Ferdinand M Gerlach1,
  7. Andrea Siebenhofer1,2,
  8. Juliana J Petersen1
  1. 1 Institute of General Practice, Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany
  2. 2 Institute of General Practice and Evidence-based Health Services Research, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria
  1. Correspondence to Mirjam Dieckelmann; Dieckelmann{at}


Introduction Chronic heart failure (CHF) is a heterogeneous condition requiring complex treatment from diverse healthcare services. An increasingly holistic understanding of healthcare has resulted in contextual factors such as perceived quality of care, as well as patients’ acceptance, preferences and subjective expectations of health services, all gaining in importance. How patients with CHF experience the use of healthcare services has not been studied within the scope of a systematic review in a German healthcare context. The aim of this scoping review is therefore to review systematically the experiences of patients affected by CHF with healthcare services in Germany in the literature and to map the research foci. Further objectives are to identify gaps in evidence, develop further research questions and to inform decision makers concerned with improving healthcare of patients living with CHF.

Methods and analysis This scoping review will be based on a broad search strategy involving systematic and comprehensive electronic database searches in MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, PSYNDEX, CINAHL and Cochrane’s Database of Systematic Reviews, grey literature searches, as well as hand searches through reference lists and non-indexed key journals. The methodological procedure will be based on an established six-stage framework for conducting scoping reviews that includes two independent reviewers. Data will be systematically extracted, qualitatively and quantitatively analysed and summarised both narratively and visually. To ensure the research questions and extracted information are meaningful, a patient representative will be involved.

Ethics and dissemination Ethical approval will not be required to conduct this review. Results will be disseminated through a clearly illustrated report that will be part of a wider research project. Furthermore, it is intended that the review’s findings should be made available to relevant stakeholders through conference presentations and publication in peer-reviewed journals (knowledge transfer). Protocol registration in PROSPERO is not applicable for scoping reviews.

  • primary care
  • heart failure
  • organisation of health services
  • public health
  • patients' experience
  • scoping review

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  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Contributors JJP, AS, FMG: developed the concept and acquired funding for this review. MD, KJ, TS, FR: developed the search strategy. MD: drafted the first version of the manuscript. JJP, KJ, TS, FR, JP: finalised this manuscript.

  • Funding This work was supported by the Robert Bosch Foundation (Robert Bosch Stiftung).

  • Competing interests JJP is a co-investigator in the PANORA study (Prevalence of anticyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP) positivity in patients with new non-specific onset of musculoskeletal symptoms, possibly related to early rheumatoid arthritis in general practices in Germany), which is being conducted by the Fraunhofer Institute and financed by Bristol‐Meyer Squibb. She is employed by the Institute of General Practice of Goethe University Frankfurt and has never personally received financial remuneration from a pharmaceutical company.

  • Ethics approval This study will not require ethical approval.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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