From October 10 to 12, 2019, the international scientific workshop ”The Relevance of Registry Research for Clinical Practice: Gender Differences in Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) Recipients with a Focus on Psychosocial and Behavioral Factors“ took place at Trier University, organized by the Section of Health Psychology, Department of Nursing Science, Trier University, Germany. Under the direction of Prof. Dr. Heike Spaderna and Prof. Dr. Gerdi Weidner, scientists involved in the INTERMACS (1) and EUROMACS (2), two large patient registries from the US and from Europe, met at Trier University for this workshop, which was supported by the German Research Foundation, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and Trier University. Scientists and students from the fields of psychology, nursing science, statistics, cardiology, data management, and LVAD coordination shared their findings and discussed collaborative research aimed at improvement of clinical practice and outcomes of women and men with LVADs. The workshop program can be found here.
Participants from 4 countries (Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, United States of America) met for the scientific workshop ”The Relevance of Registry Research for Clinical Practice: Gender Differences in Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) Recipients with a Focus on Psychosocial and Behavioral Factors“ at Trier University, Trier, Germany, from October 10 to October 12 2019 to share their research findings and to discuss collaborative approaches to improve prognosis of women and men with LVADs.
Heike Spaderna (Trier University) and Gerdi Weidner (San Francisco State University, USA) and their team from Trier University Lisa-Marie Maukel, Sarah Löchel, Julia Ruff, Natascha Lauer, and Tabea König welcomed Marissa Miller (National Institutes of Health, USA), Kathleen Grady (Northwestern University, Chicago, USA), Jan Beyersmann (Ulm University, Germany), Theo de By (European Association of Cardiothoracic Surgery, UK), Christiane Kugler (Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Germany), Volker Lauenroth (Heart and Diabetes Center NRW, Germany), Katrien Vandersmissen (Universitair Ziekenhuis Leuven, Belgium), and John Pennington (University of Alabama, USA, Kirklin Institute of Research in Surgical Outcomes).
The number of men and women with heart failure is rising both in Europe and in the US. Advances in technology provide new options for patients with advanced disease by way of mechanically assisted pumping devices. These left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) are increasingly used as an alternative to heart transplantation. According to the Deutsche Herzbericht 2017 (Deutsche Herzstiftung, 2017), about 1 000 LVADs were implanted in Germany in 2016.
Large registries, such as the Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support (INTERMACS) in the US, and the European counterpart EUROMACS, collect patient data in order to facilitate research in this area in order to inform clinical practice.
Clinical outcomes after LVAD implantation are promising, but women appear to be disadvantaged: they are underrepresented in the registries and it is unclear whether women compared to men benefit equally from device implantation. The greater frequency of adverse events, such as stroke, observed among women after LVAD implantation may contribute to their increased risk for mortality when compared to male LVAD recipients of similar age. One goal of the present workshop was to identify factors, including psychological, social and behavioral characteristics that might contribute to gender differences in outcomes among LVAD recipients.
This workshop, which was funded by the German Research Foundation, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and by Trier University brought together scientists from the fields of psychology, nursing science, statistics, data management, cardiology, and nurses working as clinical VAD coordinators with INTERMACS and EUROMACS. Workshop participants used this unique opportunity to exchange knowledge and experiences to develop research questions, to identify novel methodological approaches, and to discuss funding opportunities for future collaborative projects. This workshop therefore was an important step to further advance the field of psychosocial and behavioral influences on clinical outcomes and well-being in women and men who receive LVAD as treatment for advanced heart failure.
(1) INTERMACS: Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support
(2) EUROMACS: European Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support
Prof. Dr. Heike Spaderna
Section Health Psychology
Department of Nursing Science
+49 (0)651 201-4335 (Secretary)
Prof. Dr. Gerdi Weidner
Department of Biology
Romberg Tiburon Center
San Francisco State University
3150 Paradise Drive, Tiburon, CA 94920
Deutscher Herzbericht. Frankfurt am Main: Deutsche Herzstiftung, 2017.