Outcomes of a tailored self-care intervention for patients with heart failure and major depression: A secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial

Kenneth E. Freedland, Judith A. Skala, Robert M. Carney, Brian C. Steinmeyer, Michael W. Rich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Depression is a recognized barrier to heart failure self-care, but there has been little research on interventions to improve heart failure self-care in depressed patients. Objectives: To investigate the outcomes of an individually tailored self-care intervention for patients with heart failure and major depression, and to determine whether the adequacy of self-care at baseline, the severity of depression or anxiety, or other factors affect the outcomes of this intervention. Design: Secondary analysis of data from a pre-registered randomized controlled trial (NCT02997865). Methods: Outpatients with heart failure and comorbid major depression (n = 139) were randomly assigned to cognitive behavior therapy or usual care for depression. In addition, an experienced cardiac nurse provided the tailored self-care intervention to all patients in both arms of the trial starting eight weeks after randomization. Weekly self-care intervention sessions were held between Weeks 8 and 16; the frequency was tapered to biweekly or monthly between Weeks 17 and 32. The Self-Care of Heart Failure Index (v6.2) was used to assess self-care outcomes, with scores ≥ 70 on each of its three scales (Maintenance, Management, and Confidence) being consistent with adequate self-care. The Week 16 Maintenance scale score was the primary outcome for this analysis. Results: At baseline, 107 (77%) of the patients scored in the inadequate self-care range on the Maintenance scale. Between Weeks 8 and 16, Maintenance scores improved more in patients with initially inadequate than initially adequate self-care (11.9 vs. 3.2 points, p =.003). Sixty-six (48%) of the patients with initially inadequate Maintenance scores achieved scores in the adequate range by Week 32 (p <.0001). Covariate-adjusted predictors of better Maintenance outcomes included adequate Maintenance at baseline (p <.0001), higher anxiety at baseline (p <.05), and higher dosages of the self-care intervention (p <.0001). Neither treatment with cognitive behavior therapy nor less severe major depression predicted better self-care outcomes. Conclusions: Depressed patients with inadequate heart failure self-care are able to achieve clinically significant improvements in self-care with the help of an individually tailored self-care intervention. Further refinement and testing are needed to increase the intervention's potential for clinical implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104585
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Volume147
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2023

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Depressive disorder
  • Heart failure
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Self-care
  • Self-management

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