Self-Care Related Factors in Patients with Heart Failure

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Pi-Kuang Tsai, MSN, RN
Department of Nursing, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Hsing-Mei Chen, PhD, RN
Department of Nursing, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan


Heart failure is a complex syndrome and requires the patient to engage in long-term self-care activities, in order to stabilize the condition. American Heart Association has issued a scientific statement advocating self-care as one of heart failure treatment modalities. Self-care adequacy has been viewed to have great influence in determining the heart failure outcomes. Identifying correlates of self-care is important to help patients engage in better self-care practice. The purpose of this study was to analyze thecorrelates of self-care in patients with heart failure

Methods: The study used a questionnaire survey with a non-probability sampling for the data collection. A total of 71 inpatients who met the inclusion criteria were face-to-face interviewed to complete demographic and clinical questionnaires, the Dutch Heart Failure Knowledge Scale (DHFKS), and the Self-Care of Heart Failure Index (SCHFI).Data analyses included t-tests, one-way ANOVA, and Pearson correlation methods.

Results: The results showed significant positive correlations among self-care maintenance, self-care management, and self-care confidence (r = .50 to r =.63, p< .001). Self-care maintenance was significantly positively correlated with the DHFKS scores, heart failure duration, admission frequency, and number of comorbidities; self-care management was significantly positively correlated with the DHFKS scores, admission frequency, and number of comorbidities.Self-care confidence was significantly positively correlated with the DHFKS scores (r =.46, p< .001) and admission frequency. 

Conclusion: Admission frequency and HF knowledge were important correlates of the three self-care variables. The more admission frequency, the better HF knowledge and the better self-care the patient had. Improving patients’ knowledge is therefore a task which brooks no delay.Nurses should discuss with patients about the home self-care suitable for them by using case sharing or successful case referral.Families of the patients should also be included in health education program to facilitate them in giving patients psychological support and improving patients’ self-care abilities.