Influence of depression and gender on symptom burden among patients with advanced heart failure: Insight from the pain assessment, incidence and nature in heart failure study



      Patients with advanced heart failure (HF) experience many burdensome symptoms that increase patient suffering.


      Comparative secondary analysis of 347 patients with advanced HF. Symptom burden was measured with the Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale-HF. Depression was measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9.


      Mean number of symptoms was 13.6. The three most frequent symptoms were non-cardiac pain, shortness of breath, and lack of energy. Patients with depression reported higher symptom burden. Symptom burden differed when compared by gender. Women reported higher symptom burden for other pain, dry mouth, swelling of the arms and legs, sweats, feeling nervous, nausea, and vomiting. Men reported higher symptom burden with sexual problems.


      Given the high rates of symptoms and distress, interventions are needed to alleviate the symptom burden of patients with advanced HF. Reported symptom burden in patients with advanced heart failure was higher when depressive symptoms were present. Women reported varied number and severity of symptoms than men.


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