Correlates of Quality of Life in Rural Heart Failure Patients
Background—There is abundant research indicating poor physical, psychological and social functioning of patients with chronic heart failure (HF), a reality that can lead to poor health related quality of life (HRQoL). Little is known about the experience of rural HF patients.
Methods and Results—This study was part of a randomized clinical trial titled Rural Education to Improve Outcomes in Heart Failure (REMOTE-HF) designed to test an education and counseling intervention to improve self-care in patients with HF. We evaluated 612 rural patients. Multiple validated questionnaires were administered to assess patient perceptions of health and health literacy. Baseline factors were collected and compared to baseline QoL measures only. Patients' HRQoL was assessed using the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure (MLWHF) scale. The data were analyzed using a general linear model to test the association of various patient characteristics with quality of life in rural patients with HF. Patients were 65.8 (+12.9) years of age. The majority were male (58.7%), married (56.4%) and had completed a high school education (80.9%). Factors associated with reduced quality of life amongst this population include: geographic location, younger age, male gender, higher NYHA class, worse HF knowledge, poorer perceived control and symptoms of depression or anxiety. The data provided no evidence of an association between left ventricular ejection fraction and quality of life.
Conclusions—This study of rural HF patients confirms previously identified factors associated with perceptions of quality of life. However, further study is warranted with an urban control group.
Clinical Trial Registration—URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT00415545.
- Received June 19, 2013.
- Accepted August 4, 2014.