Patterns of self-care and clinical events in a cohort of adults with heart failure: 1 year follow-up

Patterns of self-care and clinical events in a cohort of adults with heart failure: 1 year follow-up


Heart failure (HF) self-care is important in reducing clinical events (all-cause mortality, emergency room visits and hospitalizations). HF self-care behaviors are multidimensional and include maintenance (i.e. daily adherence behaviors), management (i.e. symptom response behaviors) and consulting behaviors (i.e. contacting a provider when appropriate). Across these dimensions, patterns of successful patient engagement in self-care have been observed (e.g. successful in one dimension but not in others), but no previous studies have linked patterns of HF self-care to clinical events.


To identify patterns of self-care behaviors in HF patients and their association with clinical events.


This was a prospective, non-experimental, cohort study. Community-dwelling HF patients (n = 459) were enrolled across Italy, and clinical events were collected one year after enrollment. We measured dimensions of self-care behavior with the Self-Care of HF Index (maintenance, management, and confidence) and the European HF Self-care Behavior Scale (consulting behaviors). We used latent class mixture modeling to identify patterns of HF self-care across dimensions, and Cox proportional hazards modeling to quantify event-free survival over 12 months of follow-up.


Patients (mean age 71.8 ± 12.1 years) were mostly males (54.9%). Three patterns of self-care behavior were identified; we labeled each by their most prominent dimensional characteristic: poor symptom response, good symptom response, and maintenance-focused behaviors. Patients with good symptom response behaviors had fewer clinical events compared with those who had poor symptom response behaviors (adjusted hazard ratio = 0.66 [0.46-0.96], p = 0.03). Patients with poor symptom response behaviors had the most frequent clinical events. Patients with poor symptom response and those with maintenance-focused behaviors had a similar frequency of clinical events.


Self-care is significantly associated with clinical events. Routine assessment, mitigation of barriers, and interventions targeting self-care are needed to reduce clinical events in HF patients.


Heart failure; Mortality; Prospective study; Self-care; Survival.



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