Care dependency in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart failure - a secondary data analysis of German prevalence studies

Scand J Caring Sci. 2014 Dec;28(4):665-74. doi: 10.1111/scs.12091. Epub 2013 Oct 17.


Aim: The aim of this study was to compare the degree of care dependency between hospitalised patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) and patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Methods: Secondary data analysis of five German prevalence studies from 2007 to 2011. Care dependency was measured using the Care Dependency Scale.

Results: Hospitalised patients with CHF or COPD are to a limited extent care dependent, and their overall care dependency does not differ (p = 0.56). Care dependency items with the lowest mean were mobility, hygiene, getting (un)dressed, continence, avoidance of danger and daily activities. Patients with CHF or COPD did not differ statistically significantly in those items. Only the items 'eating and drinking' almost achieved statistical significance (p = 0.06).

Conclusion: Patients with CHF or COPD did not differ in levels of care dependency. Both patient populations are restricted in engaging in activities potentially associated with physical condition and possibly influenced by perceived dyspnoea. Furthermore, comorbidities like incontinence and cognitive impairment seem to play an important role regarding the degree of care dependency.

Keywords: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; discharge planning; health status; heart failure; secondary data analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Heart Failure / complications
  • Heart Failure / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / complications
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy*