Compliance in heart failure patients: The importance of knowledge and beliefs

Martje H.L. Van Der Wal, Tiny Jaarsma, Debra K. Moser, Nic J.G.M. Veeger, Wiek H. Van Gilst, Dirk J. Van Veldhuisen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

378 Scopus citations


Aims: Non-compliance in patients with heart failure (HF) contributes to worsening HF symptoms and may lead to hospitalization. Several smaller studies have examined compliance in HF, but all were limited as they only studied either the individual components of compliance and its related factors or several aspects of compliance without studying the related factors. The aims of this study were to examine all dimensions of compliance and its related factors in one HF population. Methods and results: Data were collected in a cohort of 501 HF patients. Clinical and demographic data were assessed and patients completed questionnaires on compliance, beliefs, knowledge, and self-care behaviour. Overall compliance was 72% in this older HF population. Compliance with medication and appointment keeping was high (>90%). In contrast, compliance with diet (83%), fluid restriction (73%), exercise (39%), and weighing (35%) was markedly lower. Compliance was related to knowledge (OR = 5.67; CI 2.87-11.19), beliefs (OR= 1.78; CI 1.18-2.69), and depressive symptoms (OR = 0.53; CI 0.35-0.78). Conclusion: Although some aspects of compliance had an acceptable level, compliance with weighing and exercise were low. In order to improve compliance, an increase of knowledge and a change of patient's beliefs by education and counselling are recommended. Extra attention should be paid to patients with depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-440
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Heart Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • Adherence
  • Heart failure
  • Nursing
  • Patient compliance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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