Introduction: Because of the lack of a cure for patients with chronic heart failure (HF), there has been a progressive interest in the use of health-related quality of life (Hr-QoL) as complementary end-point to mortality and morbidity.
Aim: The aim of this review was from a nursing perspective to describe Hr-QoL and the influencing factors of Hr-QoL, as well as to identify interventions aimed at influencing Hr-QoL in HF patients.
Method: Medline, Cinahl and PsycInfo databases were searched from 1995 to 2004. A total of 58 papers were included.
Results: HF symptoms and activity status influence Hr-QoL negatively. However, several individual characteristics such as personality, gender and age must also be taken into consideration because different values might exist regarding what constitutes a good Hr-QoL. Nurse led interventions based on education, support and exercise can influence Hr-QoL positively. There is also a need of more studies about the effects of depression, sleep disturbances, support as well as education on Hr-QoL. There is also a need of exercise studies with larger sample sizes and older patients in higher NYHA classes.
Conclusion: Several individual factors impact Hr-QoL, therefore, must nursing interventions are individually adapted to the patient's resources.