Vulnerabilities of patients recovering from an exacerbation of chronic heart failure

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114 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Many rehospitalizations for heart failure (HF) are preventable as they are precipitated by modifiable factors. High early readmission rates suggest that patients commonly are discharged from HF hospitalizations with such problems unaddressed. The purpose of this study was to describe the prevalence of multiple risk factors for rehospitalization in patients recently discharged from a hospitalization for decompensated HF. Methods and Results: The following potentially modifiable risk factors for rehospitalization were evaluated in 202 patients: functional status; whether the patient lived alone; presence of anxiety, depression, or poor quality of life; and symptom status and adherence to prescribed medications, low-sodium diet, and symptom monitoring recommendations. Most patients were severely functionally impaired (70% New York Heart Association [NYHA] functional class III/IV). Of the 28% of patients who lived alone, 50% were rated as NYHA functional class III or IV. Fifty percent of patients were anxious, whereas 69% of patients were depressed. Health-related quality of life was substantially impaired. Patients reported substantial symptom burden. Adherence with recommended self-care strategies was poor: 14% weighed themselves daily, 9% of patients reported monitoring for symptoms of worsening HF, 31% could not name any symptom, and only 34% of patients taking all medications as prescribed. A total of 23% of patients had all of the following risk factors: NYHA functional class III or IV, lived alone, ≥1 comorbidities, and were depressed or anxious. Conclusions: Patients newly discharged from a hospitalization for HF exhibit many psychosocial and behavioral risk factors for rehospitalization, although they have been judged clinically stable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)984.e7-984.e13
JournalAmerican Heart Journal
Volume150
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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