Unraveling the mechanisms for heart failure patients' beliefs about compliance

Martje H.L. van der Wal, Tiny Jaarsma, Debra K. Moser, Wiek H. van Gilst, Dirk J. van Veldhuisen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Background: Compliance with medication, diet, and monitoring symptoms is a problem in heart failure (HF) patients. Noncompliance can lead to worsening symptoms and is associated with personal beliefs about compliance. To intervene effectively, knowledge of factors related to patients' beliefs about compliance is needed. Objectives: The aims of this study are to: (1) gain insight into patients' beliefs about compliance; (2) examine the association of demographic variables and depressive symptoms to beliefs; (3) assess compliance with medication, diet, and daily weighing; and (4) examine the association of compliance to patients' beliefs. Methods: Nine hundred fifty-four HF patients completed questionnaires on beliefs about medication and diet; 297 patients also completed a questionnaire on beliefs about symptom monitoring. Most important barriers and benefits were assessed as well as differences in beliefs between subgroups and the association between compliance and beliefs. Results: The most important barriers were diuresis during the night (57%), the taste of food (51%), and limited ability to go out (33%). A barrier related to failure to weigh daily was forgetfulness (26%). Patients with depressive symptoms and patients with a low level of HF knowledge experienced more barriers to compliance with the HF regimen. Self-reported compliance with medication was almost 99%, compliance with diet 77%, and with daily weighing 33%. Conclusions and Implications: In order to improve compliance, it is important that interventions should be directed to those patients who experience more barriers to compliance, such as patients with depressive symptoms and patients with a low level of knowledge on the HF regimen. Improvement of knowledge, therefore, will remain an important issue in HF management programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-261
Number of pages9
JournalHeart and Lung: Journal of Acute and Critical Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by The Netherlands heart foundation (grant 2000Z003).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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