Vol 18, No 4 (2011)
Original articles
Published online: 2011-07-15

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Heart failure: Tools for nursing and medical treatment

Maria De Felice, Giuseppe Alfonsi, Anna Rita Giuliani, Leila Fabiani
Cardiol J 2011;18(4):411-420.

Abstract

Background: To validate a structured interview designed to evaluate the healthcare and information needs of patients with heart failure (HF), who were also characterized by means of the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ) and the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36).
Methods: Forty-five in- and outpatients with HF were administered a structured interview concerning their information and healthcare needs (together with the KCCQ and SF-36) with the aim of investigating the effects of healthcare models on their quality of life (QoL). Twenty- -one patients were also involved in a one-week test-retest validity study carried out in order to verify reproducibility and stability by means of concordance and K statistics.
Results: The reproducibility of the structured interview was good or very good for all items, with a mean Kw of 0.59; the clarity and acceptability of most of the questions were good. Positive judgements of hospital care inversely related to the patients’ New York Heart Association class. The subjects about which the patients sought greater information were diet, sleep, therapies and physical exercise, with cardiologists and general practitioners (GPs) being more involved than nurses. The most frequently discussed subject was diagnostic examinations. The questionnaire scores of our patients were generally lower than those reported in the literature, possibly because of their advanced age. However, it is difficult to believe that the quality of care was extraneous to their generally worse health-related QoL.
Conclusions: Our HF patients experienced a ‘basic’ healthcare model (hospitals, GPs, cardiologists) and judged them acceptable. Their ability to think critically about care was increasingly compromised as HF progressed and their health-related QoL decreased. (Cardiol J 2011; 18, 4: 411–420)

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