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Frailty syndrome and self-care ability in elderly patients with heart failure

Authors Uchmanowicz I, Wleklik M, Gobbens RJ

Received 24 February 2015

Accepted for publication 18 March 2015

Published 18 May 2015 Volume 2015:10 Pages 871—877


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Izabella Uchmanowicz,1 Marta Wleklik,1 Robbert JJ Gobbens2,3

1Department of Clinical Nursing, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland; 2Faculty of Health, Sports and Social Work, Inholland University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam, 3Zonnehuisgroep Amstelland, Amstelveen, the Netherlands

Background: Chronic heart failure is a serious medical condition. Recently, there has been an increasing interest in frailty syndrome and self-care levels among patients with cardiovascular conditions. Demonstrating the influence of frailty syndrome on self-care could improve the quality of self-care and prevent the adverse effects of frailty syndrome. The purpose of this study was to assess the influence of frailty syndrome on the self-care capabilities of patients with chronic heart failure, and to identify factors associated with frailty.
Methods: The data were collected between January and July 2014. The study included 110 patients with chronic heart failure who were hospitalized in the cardiology clinic. Frailty syndrome was assessed using the Tilburg Frailty Indicator, a self-report questionnaire, and self-care behavior was assessed using the European Heart Failure Self-Care Behavior Scale.
Results: Fifty-four percent of the study patients were male and 46% were female. The mean age was 66±11 years, the mean Tilburg Frailty Indicator score was 7.45±3.02 points, and the mean self-care level was 27.6±7.13 points. Correlation analyses showed that patients with higher scores in the social components of the frailty scale had better self-care capabilities. Frailty was associated with age, education, duration of heart failure, number of hospitalizations, and New York Heart Association class. The effects of these patient characteristics differed across components of frailty (physical, psychological, social).
Conclusion: The social components of frailty syndrome adversely affect the ability to self-care in elderly patients with heart failure. It is relevant to use a multidimensional measurement of frailty.

Keywords: frailty syndrome, self-care, heart failure

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