Heart failure And Participation in Physical activitY (the HAPPY study)



This project is funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) – Research for Patient Patient (RfPB) funding stream: NIHR203155.


What’s the research question?

What will help people with heart failure to support themselves, and be supported by their family, friends and health professionals to boost their physical activity?


What is the problem?

Heart failure affects nearly a million people across the UK It can happen at any age but is most common in older people. Heart failure means the heart is unable to pump blood around the body well enough, and common effects are breathlessness, tiredness, palpitations and ankle swelling. Everyone’s experiences are slightly different.

We know that physical activity can help people with heart failure to increase their fitness levels and improve their mood. Physical activity can mean exercise classes, but also everyday things like walking the dog or gardening. One of the concerns of people with heart failure is not feeling confident in how much, and what type of physical activity they should do. People want to keep themselves healthy but are not getting clear information about physical activity. Doctors also say they are unsure how best to advise their patients.

What is the aim of the research?

To support people with heart failure to engage in the right amount of physical activity which is beneficial to their health and wellbeing.


How will this be achieved?

The study team will conduct a review of the current literature focusing on a synthesis of the views and experiences of physical activity amongst people with heart failure. They will also look at the advice provided on charity websites on physical activity and heart-related conditions. The team will then use this evidence to develop a logic model which can be used to guide discussions and improve physical activity services for people with heart failure and related conditions.


Who is leading the research?

Dr Alyson Huntley, Senior Research Fellow in Evidence Synthesis, Bristol Medical School (PHS) Bristol Population Health Science Institute.


Further information

For more information or to get involved with this project, please contact bnssg.research@nhs.net.

The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.