Issues in cardiovascular nursing| Volume 37, ISSUE 2, P122-131, March 2008

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Fatigue in older adults with stable heart failure

  • Sharon A. Stephen
    Reprint requests: Sharon A. Stephen, RN, GNP, PhD, Gerontological Nurse Practitioner, Legacy Health System, Legacy Good Samaritan Clinics Geriatric Medicine, 1200 NW 23rd Avenue, Portland, OR 97210.
    Oregon Health and Science University School of Nursing, Portland, Oregon.
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      The purpose of this study was to describe fatigue and the relationships among fatigue intensity, self-reported functional status, and quality of life in older adults with stable heart failure.


      A descriptive, correlational design was used to collect quantitative data with reliable and valid instruments. Fifty-three eligible volunteers completed a questionnaire during an interview. Those with recent changes in their medical regimen, other fatigue-inducing illnesses, and isolated diastolic dysfunction were excluded.


      Fatigue intensity (Profile of Mood States fatigue subscale) was associated with lower quality of life, perceived health, and satisfaction with life. Fatigue was common, and no relationship was found between fatigue intensity and self-reported functional status. Marital status was the only independent predictor of fatigue.


      In stable heart failure, fatigue is a persistent symptom. Clinicians need to ask patients about fatigue and assess the impact on quality of life. Self-reported functional status cannot serve as a proxy measure for fatigue.
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