Self care and health related quality of life in chronic heart failure: A longitudinal analysis

D.E.F. Kessing, J. Denollet, J.W.M.G. Widdershoven, N. Kupper

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Self-care is assumed to benefit health outcomes in patients with chronic heart failure (HF), but the evidence is conflicting for health-related quality of life (HRQOL). The aim of this study was to examine the association of (changes in) self-care with HRQOL while adjusting for psychological distress.
In total, 459 patients (mean age = 66.1 ± 10.5 years, 73% male) with chronic HF completed questionnaires at baseline and at 6, 12 and 18 months of follow-up. Self-care and HF-specific HRQOL were quantified with the European Heart Failure Self-care Behaviour scale and the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire.Results:Using general linear models, multivariable between-subject (estimate = –0.14, p = 0.005) and no within-subject effects of self-care were found for better HRQOL over time. Associations between self-care and HRQOL were fully explained by depression (estimate = 1.77, p < 0.001). Anxiety (estimate = 4.49, p < 0.001) and Type D personality (estimate = 13.3, p < 0.001) were associated with poor HRQOL, but only partially accounted for the relationship between self-care and emotional HRQOL.
Self-care was prospectively associated with better disease-specific HRQOL in patients with HF, which was fully accounted for by depression, and partially accounted for by anxiety and Type D personality. Changes in self-care within a person did not affect HRQOL. Psychological distress should be considered in future efforts to address self-care and HRQOL.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-613
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Self Care
  • Health-related quality of life
  • depression
  • Type D
  • Anxiety
  • Heart Failure


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