Intersection of social determinants of health with ventricular assist device therapy: An integrative review

Mireille Chehade, Komal Patel Murali, Victoria Vaughan Dickson, Margaret M McCarthy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Social determinants of health (SDOH) may influence the clinical management of patients with heart failure. Further research is warranted on the relationship between SDOH and Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) therapy for heart failure.

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this integrative review was to synthesize the state of knowledge on the intersection of SDOH with VAD therapy.

METHODS: Guided by Whittemore and Knafl's methodology, this literature search captured three concepts of interest including VAD therapy, SDOH, and their domains of intersection with patient selection, decision-making, treatment outcome, and resource allocation. CINAHL, Embase, PsycINFO, PubMed, and Web of Science were searched in March 2023. Articles were included if they were peer-reviewed publications in English, published between 2006 and 2023, conducted in the United States, and examined VAD therapy in the context of adult patients (age ≥ 18 years).

RESULTS: 22 quantitative studies meeting the inclusion criteria informed the conceptualization of SDOH using the Healthy People 2030 framework. Four themes captured how the identified SDOH intersected with different processes relating to VAD therapy: patient decision-making, healthcare access and resource allocation, patient selection, and treatment outcomes. Most studies addressed the intersection of SDOH with healthcare access and treatment outcomes.

CONCLUSION: This review highlights substantial gaps in understanding how SDOH intersect with patient and patient selection for VAD. More research using mixed methods designs is warranted. On an institutional level, addressing bias and discrimination may have mitigated health disparities with treatment outcomes, but further research is needed for implementing system-wide change. Standardized assessment of SDOH is recommended throughout clinical practice from patient selection to outpatient VAD care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-70
Number of pages15
JournalHeart and Lung: Journal of Acute and Critical Care
Early online dateApr 6 2024
StateE-pub ahead of print - Apr 6 2024


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