Quality of life in patients with heart failure: Ask the patients

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155 Scopus citations


Background: Heart failure (HF) is a progressive clinical condition that results in substantial impairment of quality of life (QOL). Helping patients maintain optimal QOL is essential. QOL reflects patients' subjective perceptions about the impact of a clinical condition and its treatment on daily life; however, definitions in the literature vary widely and few reflect the patient's perspective. Purpose: The study explored how patients with HF define and perceive QOL. Methods: Qualitative data were obtained from 14 men and 6 women with HF (mean age 58 ± 10 years) using semistructured open-ended interviews. The interviews were analyzed using content analysis. Results: Patients with HF defined QOL as their ability to 1) perform desired physical and social activities to meet their and their family's needs; 2) maintain happiness; and 3) engage in fulfilling relationships with others. Patients perceived a variety of factors as positively or negatively affecting QOL: physical (symptoms and good or poor physical status), psychologic (mood and positive or negative perspective), economic (financial status), social (social support and ability for social activities), spiritual, and behavioral (self-care). Patients perceived that HF had a serious impact on QOL, but most evaluated their QOL as good nonetheless. Conclusion: Patients' definition of QOL reflected not only the impact of HF on their daily life but also their active pursuit of happiness. Patients' self-evaluation of QOL reflected the negative impact of HF and patients' altered expectations of what constituted good QOL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-108
Number of pages9
JournalHeart and Lung: Journal of Acute and Critical Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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