The Minnesota Living With Heart Failure Questionnaire: sensitivity to differences and responsiveness to intervention intensity in a clinical population

Nurs Res. 2002 Jul-Aug;51(4):209-18. doi: 10.1097/00006199-200207000-00001.


Background: The Minnesota Living With Heart Failure Questionnaire (LHFQ) is a commonly used measure of health-related quality of life in persons with heart failure. Researchers have questioned whether LHFQ is sensitive to subtle differences and sufficiently responsive to clinical interventions because the instrument has demonstrated variable performance in clinical trials.

Objectives: A secondary analysis was conducted to assess the LHFQ for sensitivity to different clinical states and responsiveness to varying intensities of clinical intervention.

Methods: A convenience sample of nine experimental or quasi-experimental studies from eight clinical sites in the United States yielded data from 1,136 patients with heart failure. Data in the studies had been collected at enrollment and one, three, and/or six months later. Data were analyzed using descriptive, univariate, and multivariate techniques.

Results: Total and subscale scores on LHFQ were poorer in those with worse New York Heart Association functional class, although there was no difference in LHFQ scores between classes III and IV. No difference in LHFQ scores was found when patients were classified by ejection fraction. Scores improved significantly following hospital discharge, even in those in the control group. Changes in LHFQ scores were greatest in those receiving high intensity interventions.

Conclusions: The LHFQ is sensitive to major differences in symptom severity but may not be sensitive to subtle differences. It is responsive to high intensity interventions. Investigators are cautioned against using this instrument without first maximizing intervention power or without a control group for comparison.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / classification
  • Heart Failure / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Minnesota
  • Nursing Research / methods
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires