Patients diagnosed with chronic diseases develop perceptions about their disease and its causes, which may influence health behavior and emotional well-being. This is the first study to examine patient-reported causes and their correlates in patients with heart failure.
European heart failure patients (N = 595) completed questionnaires, including the Brief Illness Perceptions Questionnaire. Using deductive thematic analysis, patient-reported causes were categorized into physical, natural, behavioral, psychosocial, supernatural and other. Clinical data were collected from medical records.
Patients who did not report any cause (11%) were on average lower educated and participated less often in cardiac rehabilitation. The majority of the remaining patients reported physical causes (46%, mainly comorbidities), followed by behavioral (38%, mainly smoking), psychosocial (35%, mainly (work-related) stress), and natural causes (32%, mainly heredity). There were socio-demographic, clinical and psychological group differences between the various categories, and large discrepancies between prevalence of physical risk factors according to medical records and patient-reported causes; e.g. 58% had hypertension, while only 5% reported this as a cause. Multivariable analyses indicated trends towards associations between physical causes and poor health status (Odds ratio (OR) = 1.41, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) = 0.95-2.09, p = 0.09), psychosocial causes and psychological distress (OR = 1.54, 95% CI = 0.94-2.51, p = 0.09), and behavioral causes and a less threatening view of heart failure (OR = 0.64, 95% CI = 0.40-1.01, p = 0.06).
European patients most frequently reported comorbidities, smoking, stress, and heredity as heart failure causes, but their causal understanding may be limited. There were trends towards associations between patient-reported causes and health status, psychological distress, and illness perceptions.
- Brief illness perception questionnaire
- CANCER SURVIVORS
- Heart failure
- ILLNESS PERCEPTION QUESTIONNAIRE
- Patient-reported causes