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Factors associated with delayed care-seeking in hospitalized patients with heart failure

Published:November 04, 2011DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hrtlng.2011.09.007

      Abstract

      Objective

      This study sought to evaluate the contributions of symptom recognition and clinical factors to delays in care-seeking.

      Methods

      A descriptive correlational study design was used to study 75 patients (mean age, 74.7 years; SD, 10.86 years; range, 40 to 96 years) admitted to a tertiary-care medical center with recurrent symptoms (New York Heart Association classes 2 to 4). The sample was 52% male and 85.3% white. The Heart Failure Somatic Perception Scale (HFSPS) was used to examine symptoms, and additional data were collected on physiologic, social, and demographic factors.

      Results

      The mean HFSPS score was 37.52 (range, 2 to 74; possible range, 0 to 90). Subjects reported 2 to 16 out of 18 possible symptoms. Durations of individual symptoms ranged from 5 minutes to 8 years, with individual patients describing a variety of symptom combinations and multiple time frames, depending on the specific symptom. Most subjects (80%) reported a mixture of acute and chronic symptoms. A pattern of chronic vs. acute symptoms was associated with proactive vs. emergent care-seeking, respectively. The HFSPS scores did not correlate with care-seeking behavior.

      Conclusion

      Symptom recognition is a complex phenomenon, and few factors differentiate emergent from proactive care-seeking.

      Keywords

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