Issues in heart failure| Volume 38, ISSUE 5, P392-397, September 2009

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Self-care and depression in patients with chronic heart failure

Published:January 22, 2009DOI:


      Although chronic heart failure (CHF) is often complicated by comorbid depression and poor self-care, little is known about their specific association in patients with CHF.


      To investigate self-care behavior among patients with CHF with different degrees of depression severity.


      A total of 287 patients with documented CHF, New York Heart Association functional class II to IV, completed the European Heart Failure Self-Care Behavior Scale. The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM (SCID) IV served as the criterion standard for the presence of a depressive disorder.


      Analyses of covariance and linear regression analyses revealed that patients with CHF with minor depression reported significantly lower levels of self-care than patients with major depression (P = .003) and nondepressed patients (P = .014). In addition to minor depression, age (P ≤ .001), multimorbidity (P = .01), left ventricular ejection fraction (P = .001), and family status (P = .01) were determinants of self-care.


      Our results demonstrate that patients with CHF with minor depression and not major depression are at higher risk for poor self-care and its resulting consequences, such as symptom deterioration and frequent hospitalization.
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