Work-heart balance: the influence of biobehavioral variables on self-care among employees with heart failure

AAOHN J. 2008 Feb;56(2):63-73; quiz 74-6. doi: 10.1177/216507990805600203.


The complexities of managing heart failure among employees have not been studied. In this mixed methods study, the authors explored how cognition, physical functioning, attitudes, and self-efficacy influence self-care among employees with heart failure. Forty-one adults (White, 68.3%; male, 63.4%; median age, 51 years; employed, 48.8%) completed in-depth interviews and standardized instruments. Content analysis was used to derive themes from narrative accounts of self-care practices, attitudes, and self-efficacy within the context of employment. Descriptive and nonparametric statistics were used to describe the sample and generate hypotheses about relationships among the variables. Most of the employed participants (N = 13) worked full-time (65%), primarily in sedentary jobs. Cognition and physical functioning were better in those who were employed (p = .02), but self-care practices were lower (p = .03). Those who successfully managed heart failure and work described strategies to incorporate self-care into their workdays, self-efficacy in managing symptoms while at work, and favorable attitudes toward employment.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cognition
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Heart Failure / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Health*
  • Self Care* / psychology
  • Self Efficacy
  • Statistics, Nonparametric