Depressive symptom trajectory predicts 1-year health-related quality of life in patients with heart failure

Rebecca L. Dekker, Terry A. Lennie, Nancy M. Albert, Mary K. Rayens, Misook L. Chung, Jia Rong Wu, Eun Kyeung Song, Debra K. Moser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Background: One-third of patients with heart failure (HF) experience depressive symptoms that adversely affect health-related quality of life (HRQOL). We aimed to describe depressive symptom trajectory and determine whether a change in depressive symptoms predicts subsequent HRQOL. Methods and Results: The sample consisted of 256 inpatients and outpatients with HF. Depressive symptoms were measured at baseline and 3 or 6 months with the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). The Minnesota Living with HF Questionnaire was used to assess HRQOL at baseline, 3 to 6 months, and 1 year. Based on baseline and 3- to 6-month PHQ-9 scores, patients were categorized as depressive symptom-free (64%), depressive symptoms improved (15%), depressive symptoms developed (6%), or persistent depressive symptoms (15%). The groups differed in 1-year HRQOL levels (F = 36, P <.001); patients who were depressive symptom-free or whose depressive symptoms improved had better 1-year HRQOL than patients with persistent depressive symptoms (Tukey honestly significant difference, P <.01). Change in depressive symptoms was the strongest predictor of 1-year HRQOL (standardized β =.42, P <.001), after controlling for functional status, demographics, and clinical variables. Conclusions: We found the trajectory of depressive symptoms predicts future HRQOL. Research is needed to determine whether interventions targeting depressive symptoms improve HRQOL in patients with HF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)755-763
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cardiac Failure
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Nursing Research 5R01 NR 008567, NINR P20 NR010679 , and NIH M01 RR02602 . The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Nursing Research or the National Institutes of Health.


  • Cardiovascular
  • depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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