Wednesday, 9 July 2008: 10:30 AM
Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to appreciate the impact of depressive symptoms on heart failur outcomes
Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to learn about the use of GDS to assess depressive the symptoms in heart faliure populaiotn
Based on the Framingham Heart Study, the American Heart Association has estimated that more than 5,200,000 Americans currently have heart failure (HF). Researchers revealed that heart failure associated with clinically relevant psychological impairment such as depression, anxiety, and irritation. Studies have demonstrated that depressive symptoms have a negative impact on functional status, mortality and health outcomes in this population. The prevalence of depressive symptoms in patients with heart failure varies across studies. Several scales have been used to assess depressive symptoms in heart failure patients; nevertheless, no study reported a profile of depressive symptoms in patients with heart failure as measured by Geriatric Depression Scale Short Form (GDS-SF) and, the gold standard for measuring depressive symptoms, the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) concurrently. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to compare a profile of depressive symptoms as measured with the GDS and the CES-D in a sample of ambulatory heart failure patients. Hence, a descriptive cross sectional study of a convenience sample of 95 adults with heart failure, ages 40 and older, was used to generate a profile of depressive symptoms. Results indicate that the GDS-SF has a Cronbach's Alpha value of .86, and the CES-D .89. The GDS-SF identified 31.3% of participants as depressed compared to 36.5% identified by the CES-D. Findings suggest that both instruments are reliable and the depressive symptoms profiles generated from using both of them are comparable when used to assess depressive symptoms in ambulatory heart failure patients. The GDS-SF is a reliable instrument, and can be completed within a short time and provide accurate assessment of depressive symptoms that may facilitate clinician nurses in the management of heart failure patient outcomes.