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Background: Self-care is an important element in the comprehensive management of patients with heart failure. The European Heart Failure Self-Care Behaviour Scale (EHFScBS) was developed and tested to measure behaviours performed by the heart failure patients to maintain life, healthy functioning, and wellbeing. Aims: The purpose of this review was to evaluate the importance of factors associated with heart failure self-care behaviours as measured by the EHFScBS. Methods: Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis guidelines were used to search major health databases (PubMed, Scopus and ScienceDirect). Obtained associating factors of heart failure self-care were qualitatively synthesised and the association levels of most commonly addressed factors were further explored. Results: We identified 30 studies that were included in the review; a diverse range of personal and environmental factors associated with self-care behaviours in heart failure patients were identified. Age, health-related quality of life, gender, education, New York Heart Association class, depressive symptoms and left ventricular ejection fraction were most often correlated with the EHFScBS score. Consistent evidence for the relationship between self-care behaviours and depression was found, while their association with New York Heart Association class and health-related quality of life was non-significant in most of the studies. Associations with other factors were shown to be inconsistent or need to be further investigated as they were only addressed in single studies. Conclusion: A sufficient body of evidence is available only for a few factors related to heart failure self-care measured by the EHFScBS and indicates their limited impact on patient heart failure self-care. The study highlights the need for further exploration of relationships that would offer a more comprehensive understanding of associating factors.


Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

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Journal Article

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