Acceptance of HF Linked With Better Quality of Life, Study Shows

January 09, 2015

WROCŁAW, POLAND — Chronic heart-failure patients who have come to terms with their disease are more likely to have a better quality of life when compared with HF patients who have not accepted their illness, according to the conclusions of a new study[1].

In an analysis of 100 patients diagnosed with HF for at least 6 months, those with higher levels of disease acceptance were more likely to have more energy, less pain, better emotional reactions, better quality of sleep, and better mobility and be less socially isolated when compared with individuals who scored lower on a questionnaire designed to assess quality of life, report investigators.

"Access to information on self-perceived health status and its acceptance may result in better quality of care offered to patients, especially those suffering from chronic conditions," according to lead investigator Monika Obieglo (Wrocław Medical University, Poland) and colleagues in their report, published online January 8, 2015 in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing.

In the analysis, quality of life was assessed using the Nottingham Health Profile (NHP), a questionnaire comprising 38 items dealing with daily-life functioning. The questionnaire is grouped into six domains and includes assessments of energy, pain, emotional reactions, sleep, social isolation, and mobility. The second part of the NHP focuses on life areas affected by the disease, such as work, social and family life, holidays, hobbies, and sexual function.

In a multivariate-adjusted model, acceptance of HF, as measured by the Acceptance of Illness Scale (AIS), was the only independent predictor of quality of life across all six NHP domains.

Quality of life was also modulated by various social, demographic, and clinical characteristics of the patients, report the investigators, with older individuals (>60 years) more socially isolated and having less mobility, for example. Men were more likely than women to report better mobility and less pain and have more energy, while divorced HF patients were more likely to be socially isolated. Unemployed and retired individuals, as well as those on a disability pension, were more likely to score lower on the NHP questionnaire—lower scores indicate impaired quality of life—compared with working HF patients.

Interestingly, etiology of HF and NYHA class did not have an impact on the quality-of-life scores.

The researchers state that disease acceptance and other quality-of-life determinants "may be a useful clinical instrument," with greater acceptance possibly resulting in better medication compliance and self-care.

The authors have reported they have no relevant financial relationships.

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