Influential factors for self-care in ambulatory care heart failure patients: a qualitative perspective

Can J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2006;16(1):13-9.


Chronic heart failure is associated with debilitating symptoms, diminished quality of life and frequent hospitalizations. The literature suggests that effective everyday self-care decision-making can improve heart failure outcomes. This article focuses on the qualitative portion of a study of self-care decision-making in community-dwelling individuals attending a heart failure clinic. Semi-structured interviews conducted with 11 participants identified influences that enhance or impede self-care practices and their behavioural responses to them. Content analysis was used to examine predisposing attributes and enabling circumstances described in Connelly's Model of Self-Care in Chronic Illness. These interactive factors were either facilitators or barriers to self-care. The importance of individualizing patient teaching plans and frequent monitoring of factors likely to facilitate self-care were pivotal nursing implications that emerged from this study.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care / methods
  • Ambulatory Care / psychology*
  • Canada
  • Chronic Disease
  • Communication
  • Decision Making
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Heart Failure / prevention & control
  • Heart Failure / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Nursing
  • Models, Psychological
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Patient Care Planning
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Patient Participation / methods
  • Patient Participation / psychology*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Quality of Life
  • Self Care / methods
  • Self Care / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires