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Patients’ knowledge of heart failure and their perception of the disease

Authors Płotka A, Prokop E, Migaj J, Straburzyńska-Migaj E, Grajek S

Received 30 October 2016

Accepted for publication 1 May 2017

Published 24 August 2017 Volume 2017:11 Pages 1459—1467


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Anna Płotka,1 Edyta Prokop,2 Jacek Migaj,2 Ewa Straburzyńska–Migaj,2 Stefan Grajek2

1Medical Faculty I, Poznań University of Medical Sciences, Poznań, Poland, 21st Department of Cardiology, University Hospital of Lord’s Transfiguration, Poznań University of Medical Sciences, Poznań, Poland

Purpose: The aim of this study was to gain a deeper insight into patients’ perception of chronic heart failure (CHF) symptoms by analyzing their compliance with nonpharmacological recommendations.
Patients and methods: This was a prospective, single-center survey-based registry. Patients included in this study were hospitalized between December 2014 and January 2016 at the 1st Department of Cardiology, University Hospital of Lord’s Transfiguration, Poznan´ University of Medical Sciences, and had been diagnosed with CHF at least 3 months prior to inclusion. Participants were divided according to New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class into mild CHF (NYHA I and II) and severe CHF (NYHA III and IV), and according to age into young (<50 years), middle-aged (50–70 years) and old (>70 years). The survey included information about the patients’ sex, age, education, length of the illness and 12 questions about their perception of CHF. This study included 201 patients. The mean age was 58±15 years.
Results: The younger the patients, the more often they thought that CHF is curable. The patients presenting with severe CHF tended to think that CHF is incurable significantly more often than those with mild CHF. Most of the patients considered loss of appetite, cough and vomiting the least alarming symptoms. Significantly more patients with severe CHF exercised less and reported reduced sexual activity more often in comparison to the mild CHF patients. Most of the young patients reported no changes to their sexual activity, body mass index (BMI) or exercise after diagnosis of CHF. Most of the old patients exercised less than before diagnosis of CHF. Significantly more middle-aged patients reduced their BMI, quit smoking and reported lower sexual activity after diagnosis of CHF in comparison to the other groups.
Conclusion: Patients need to be better educated about the nature of CHF and the importance of lifestyle changes.

Keywords: chronic heart failure, patient knowledge, patient compliance, lifestyle changes, nonpharmacological recommendations

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