Heart failure patients' perceptions on nutrition and dietary adherence

Seongkum Heo, Terry A. Lennie, Debra K. Moser, Chizimuzo Okoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Introduction: The purpose of this study was to explore patients' perception about how the foods they eat impact heart failure (HF) symptoms, their understanding of dietary recommendations received, and factors affecting their adherence to dietary recommendations that include recommendations to follow a low sodium diet and a low-fat diet. Methods: Qualitative data were obtained from 20 patients using semi-structured interviews. Results: The majority of patients believed that food intake could impact their health, but less than half thought sodium could affect HF symptoms. Eighty-five percent of patients received recommendations for a specific diet, but only 60% reported following them. Factors identified as affecting adherence included: a) knowledge, b) social pressure and encouragement from others, c) social situations, and d) food as a source of pleasure and enjoyment. Conclusion: Ability to follow dietary recommendations remains a problem for many patients. Patients identified several key factors that affected ability to follow dietary recommendations. Strategies that target these factors may promote patients' decision to follow dietary recommendations and enhance their ability to do so.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-328
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this study from an American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship to Seongkum Heo, NIH, NINR R01 NR009280 to Terry Lennie, and Center grant, NIH, NINR, 1P20NR010679 to Debra Moser.


  • Adherence
  • Dietary recommendation
  • Heart failure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Medical–Surgical
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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