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. Nov-Dec 2012;74(9):965-73.
doi: 10.1097/PSY.0b013e318272ef2a. Epub 2012 Oct 31.

Cognitive Function and Treatment Adherence in Older Adults With Heart Failure

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Free PMC article

Cognitive Function and Treatment Adherence in Older Adults With Heart Failure

Michael L Alosco et al. Psychosom Med. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Objective: Treatment recommendation and guidelines for patients with heart failure (HF) can be complex, and past work has shown that patients with HF demonstrate low rates of adherence to recommended health behaviors. Although previous work has identified several medical, demographic, and psychosocial predictors of the capacity to adhere to treatment recommendations of persons with HF, little is known about the contribution of cognitive impairment to reported treatment adherence in this population.

Methods: A total of 149 persons with HF (mean [standard deviation] = 68.08 [10.74] years) completed a brief fitness assessment and neuropsychological testing. Treatment adherence was assessed using the Heart Failure Compliance Questionnaire, a brief measure that asks participants to report their adherence to a variety of recommended health behaviors (i.e., medication management, diet, and exercise, among others).

Results: The percentage of participants who reported poor overall adherence was 16.1%, with particularly high rates of nonadherence to dietary and exercise recommendations. Hierarchical regression analyses adjusting for possible confounds revealed that reduced performance on attention (β = .26, p = .01), executive function (β = .18, p = .04), and language (β = .22, p = .01) was associated with poorer overall adherence. Follow-up analyses showed that these cognitive domains were associated with behaviors such as keeping doctor appointments, medication management, and dietary recommendations (p < .05 for all).

Conclusions: The current findings demonstrate that cognitive function is an independent contributor to adherence in older adults with HF. Prospective studies that objectively measure treatment adherence are needed to clarify these findings and identify possible strategies to improve outcomes in this population.

Trial registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00871897.

Conflict of interest statement

There are no conflicts of interest.

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