Self management, symptom monitoring and associated factors in people with heart failure living in the community

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Journal Article
European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 2010, 9 (3), pp. 153 - 160
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Background: Regular symptom monitoring enables early detection and treatment of heart failure exacerbations, reducing preventable hospital admissions. Aim: To determine the level of self management and frequency of symptom monitoring and factors associated in patients with moderate severity HF living in the community. Methods: A correlation study of a convenience sample of patients recently admitted or enrolled in treatment for heart failure were interviewed twice, one month apart, on self management and the frequency of monitoring five key heart failure symptoms. Results: Participants (n=63) had an age mean of 78.38. years (SD 8.54. years), and approximately half were male (57%) and married (56%). Daily monitoring occurred in 69.8% for peripheral oedema, 65% for weight and 41.3% for fatigue, 38.9% for dyspnea during normal activity and 28.6% for dyspnea at night or at rest. At baseline, better self management was predicted by more comorbid conditions (ß= -2.64) and stronger sense of coherence (ß= -0.24), and one month later, by the baseline self management score (ß=.65). The only predictor of symptom monitoring at one month was the frequency of monitoring at baseline (OR. =9.18). Conclusions: Neither self management nor symptom monitoring is ideal in people with HF. As these behaviours did not change with time, interventions are needed early in the illness course. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
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