Perceptions of physical fitness in patients with heart failure

Prog Cardiovasc Nurs. Summer 1999;14(3):97-102.


This study examined the relationship between perceived physical condition and measured physical fitness and activity levels in 40 patients with moderate heart failure (HF). Self rated physical condition, physical activity, self efficacy, and quality of life were evaluated by self administered questionnaires. Functional capacity was examined by cardiopulmonary exercise testing and 6 minute walk test. We found that physical activity levels were low. Participation in moderate intensity recreational activity and physical fitness were associated with self efficacy. Perceived physical condition was associated with emotional well being and levels of energy and fatigue. We conclude that self efficacy may reflect physical condition and physical activity levels in this sample of HF patients and may be a simple indicator of physical ability. Because of the association between perceived physical condition and emotional well being, caution must be taken when using self reports of physical condition. Further study is needed to explore these relationships.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Quality of Life
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Self-Assessment
  • United States