Self-care confidence may be the key: a cross-sectional study on the association between cognition and self-care behaviours in adults with heart failure
Self-care, a key element of heart failure care, is challenging for patients with impaired cognition. Mechanisms through which cognitive impairment affects self-care are not currently well defined but evidence from other patient populations suggests that self-efficacy, or task-specific confidence, mediates the relationship between cognitive functioning and patient behaviors such as self-care.
The aim of this study was to test the mediating role of self-care confidence in the relationship between cognition and self-care behaviors.
A secondary analysis of data from a cross-sectional study.
Outpatient heart failure clinics in 28 Italian provinces.
628 Italian heart failure patients.
We used the Self-Care of Heart Failure Index v.6.2 to measure self-care maintenance, self-care management, and self-care confidence. Cognition was assessed with the Mini Mental State Examination. Structural equation modeling was used to analyze the data.
Participants were 73 years old on average (SD=11), mostly (58%) male and mostly (77%) in New York Heart Association functional classes II and III. The mediation model showed excellent fit (comparative fit index=1.0; root mean square error of approximation=0.02): Self-care confidence totally mediated the relationship between cognition and self-care maintenance and management.
Cognition affects self-care behaviors indirectly, through self-care confidence. Interventions aimed at improving self-care confidence may improve self-care, even in heart failure patients with impaired cognition.
Cognition; Cross-sectional studies; Heart failure; Medication adherence; Mild cognitive impairment; Nursing theory; Self care; Self efficacy.