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Friends and social networks valued by cardiac patients and providers

Patients consult family members for advice about their heart failure symptoms; while health care providers engage in social networks to improve communication and heart failure care, according to separate studies presented at the Quality of Care and Outcomes Research 2015 Scientific Sessions.
In a study from Kansas and Missouri (abstract 125), researchers sought to understand patients' perceptions of symptoms, and how and when they decide to seek professional care. After interviewing 90 patients, researchers found more than 80 percent said they talked to people from their social networks - a spouse, life partner, or adult children - about their symptoms prior to hospitalization.
"Symptoms in chronic illnesses are often subtle in onset, wax and wane over time, and may not be particularly bothersome until patients are acutely ill. So, a symptomatic person might first discuss his or her symptoms with close and trusted people from their social networks - namely, fami…

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