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Interpretability of the European Heart Failure Self-care Behaviour scale

Authors Wagenaar KP, Broekhuizen BD, Rutten FH, Strömberg A, van Stel HF, Hoes AW, Jaarsma T

Received 26 June 2017

Accepted for publication 7 September 2017

Published 26 October 2017 Volume 2017:11 Pages 1841—1849

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S144915

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen


Kim P Wagenaar,1 Berna DL Broekhuizen,1 Frans H Rutten,1 Anna Strömberg,2 Henk F van Stel,1 Arno W Hoes,1 Tiny Jaarsma2

1Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands; 2Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden

Objective: The European Heart Failure Self-care Behaviour scale (EHFScBs) is a valid patient-reported questionnaire to measure self-care behavior of heart failure (HF) patients. We assessed the interpretability of the EHFScBs.
Methods: We used data of 1,023 HF patients. Interpretability refers to the clinical meaning of the score and its changes over time. We operationalized interpretability by evaluating distributions of EHFScBs scores across relevant HF subgroups by eyeballing, by testing the risk on hospitalizations and mortality of a plausible threshold, and by determining a clinically relevant minimal important change (MIC). The scale score ranged from 0 to 100, with a higher score meaning better self-care. A threshold of ≥70 was defined as adequate and <70 as inadequate self-care.
Results: The EHFScBs scores were similarly normally distributed among the subgroups with a mean between 57.8 (SD 19.4) and 72.0 (SD 18.0). The 464 HF patients with adequate self-care had significantly less all-cause hospitalizations than the 559 patients with inadequate self-care.
Conclusion: The degree of self-care showed to be independent of relevant HF subgroups. A single threshold of 70 accurately discriminated between patients with adequate and inadequate self-care.
Practice implications: The threshold of 70 can be used in designing studies and informing health policy makers.

Keywords: heart failure, self-care, interpretability, patient-reported outcome, threshold and minimal important change

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