Self-care and quality of life of heart failure patients at a multidisciplinary heart function clinic

J Cardiovasc Nurs. Sep-Oct 2011;26(5):377-85. doi: 10.1097/JCN.0b013e31820612b8.


Background: Multidisciplinary heart function clinics aim to improve self-care through patient education and to provide clinical management.

Objective: The objectives of the present study were to investigate the self-care and quality of life of patients attending a multidisciplinary heart function clinic and to explore the relationship between self-care and quality of life.

Methods: One hundred outpatients attending a multidisciplinary heart function clinic were asked to complete a questionnaire. The questionnaire included the Self-care of Heart Failure Index (SCHFI) and the Minnesota Living With Heart Failure Questionnaire, which were used to assess self-care behavior and quality of life, respectively. Self-care practices and perceived barriers were also assessed through semistructured interviews with each patient.

Results: : The returned questionnaires (n = 94) were used to compute the following SCHFI maintenance, management, and confidence scores: 60.8 (SD, 19.3), 62.0 (SD, 20.7), and 55.9 (SD, 19.7), respectively. Higher SCHFI scores indicate better self-care. None of the self-care dimensions reached the self-care adequacy cut point of 70. The average score on the Minnesota Living With Heart Failure Questionnaire was 49.9 (SD, 25.4), indicating a moderate health-related quality of life. Lower ejection fraction, older age, and better quality of life were associated with better self-care. Determinants of better quality of life were older age, better functional capacity, higher self-care confidence, and fewer comorbidities. The patient interviews revealed that better quality of life is associated with higher self-care confidence and barriers to self-care caused anxiety to the patients. The self-care barriers were found to include lack of self-care education, financial constraints, lack of perceived benefit, and low self-efficacy.

Conclusions: Patients attending a large multidisciplinary Canadian heart failure clinic do not perform adequate self-care as measured with the SCHFI and report only a moderate quality of life. Increasing self-care through education and tools that target self-care barriers are required and may help improve quality of life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Heart Failure / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Self Care / standards*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires