Patients strategies for managing medication for chronic heart failure

Int J Cardiol. 2006 Apr 28;109(1):66-73. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2005.05.051. Epub 2005 Jul 1.


Objectives: To explore patients views of the management of medication of chronic heart failure (CHF); to explore in what circumstances they have difficulties in managing medication.

Design: Qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews using a constant comparative approach.

Participants: Patients attending an outpatients clinic with a primary diagnosis of CHF due to left ventricular systolic dysfunction, NYHA Class II or III symptoms, and a history of hospital admission for heart failure.

Results: 50 patients were recruited, average age 67.1 years with ranges between 41 and 80 years. 26 were classified as NYHA Class II and 24 Class III. Patients reported developing routines and back up strategies to help with the complex task of medication-taking. They also described circumstances in which they were more likely not to take medication.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates, with a large sample of respondents, the complexities of medication-taking and the difficulties of maintaining constant medication over a long period of time. The study provides examples of patients' strategies for so doing. Health care professionals should recognise that concordance may vary but explore ways in which they can help patients establish routines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Self Administration