Publication Date

2011

Abstract

Background: Most heart failure (HF) patients have other comorbid conditions. HF self-care requires medication and diet adherence, daily weight monitoring, and a thoughtful response to symptoms when they occur. Self-care is complicated when other chronic conditions have additional self-care requirements. The purpose of this study is to explore how comorbidity influences HF self-care. Methods: Using qualitative descriptive meta-analysis techniques, transcripts from 3 mixed methods studies (n = 99) were reexamined to yield themes about perceptions about HF and self-care and to explore the influence on HF self-care. The Charlson Comorbidity Index identified comorbid conditions. Results: The sample was 74% Caucasian, 66% male (mean age of 59.6 years ± 15 years). Fifty-three percent of the sample was New York Heart Association Class III. All had at least 1 other chronic condition. Narrative accounts revealed that adherence to diet, symptom monitoring, and differentiating symptoms from multiple conditions were the most challenging self-care skills. Emerging themes included 1) attitudes drive self-care prioritization and 2) fragmented self-care instruction leads to poor self-care integration and self-care skill deficits. Conclusions: Individuals with multiple chronic conditions are vulnerable to poor self-care. Research testing coaching interventions that integrate self-care requirements and focus on developing skill in self-care across multiple chronic conditions is needed.

School/Institute

Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

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