Case study from Heart failure policy and practice in Europe

A model for promotion of self-care education and patient empowerment

17 November, 2020

The Italian Association for Heart Failure (Associazione Italiana Scompensati Cardiaci, AISC) has developed different models of self-care education and patient empowerment. It has produced educational materials on what heart failure is and how to follow treatment, including dietary and physical activity regimens. It runs an itinerant programme of awareness and support,1 with on-the-spot specialist consultations available. People with heart failure can contact experts for advice directly through the AISC’s website.2 The association works closely with a number of hospitals to link volunteers with people with heart failure before discharge. AISC volunteers may visit them in hospital or cardiac rehabilitation centres and offer targeted support.

According to AISC, this model has resulted in improved outcomes.2 While it helps to ensure people living with heart failure and their families/carers are supported to self-care, there is room to further enhance coordination with clinicians to ensure integration of care.


  1. Associazione Italiana Scompensati Cardiaci. 2019. Second and third stage itinerant campaign AISC 2019. Available from: [Accessed 23/07/2020]
  2. Di Somma S. 2020. Interview with Stephanie Whelan and Sara C Marques at The Health Policy Partnership (Secretariat for Heart Failure Policy Network) [Videoconference]. 26/08/2020
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The Heart Failure Policy Network is an independent, multidisciplinary platform made possible with financial support from AstraZeneca and Roche Diagnostics. The content produced by the Network is not biased toward any specific treatment or therapy. All outputs are guided and endorsed by the Network’s members. All members provide their time for free. The Network is hosted by The Health Policy Partnership .