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Lum HD, Carey EP, Fairclough D, Plomondon ME, Hutt E, Rumsfeld JS, Bekelman DB. Burdensome Physical and Depressive Symptoms Predict Heart Failure-Specific Health Status Over One Year. Journal of pain and symptom management. 2016 Jun 1; 51(6):963-70.
CONTEXT: Heart failure (HF)-specific health status (symptom burden, functional status, and health-related quality of life) is an important patient-reported outcome that is associated with palliative care needs, hospitalizations, and death. OBJECTIVES: To identify potentially modifiable patient-reported factors that predict HF-specific health status over one year. METHODS: This was a prospective cohort study using data from the Patient-Centered Disease Management trial. Participants were identified using population-based sampling of all patients with an HF diagnosis at four VA Medical Centers. Patients were enrolled with reduced HF-specific health status (i.e., significant HF symptoms, limited functional status, and poor quality of life, defined by a Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire [KCCQ] score < 60). Patient-reported factors at baseline were chest pain, other noncardiac pain, dry mouth, numbness/tingling, constipation, nausea, cough, dizziness, depressive symptoms (Patient Health Questionnaire-9), and spiritual well-being (validated, single-item measure). Patients reported HF-specific health status (KCCQ) at 3, 6, and 12 months. RESULTS: Of 384 U.S. veterans, 42% screened positive for depression and 76% described burdensome physical symptoms at baseline. In bivariate analyses, all patient-reported factors were correlated with KCCQ score over one year. Multivariable mixed-effect modeling showed that baseline chest pain, numbness/tingling, depressive symptoms, and higher comorbidity count predicted HF-specific health status over the following year. CONCLUSION: Burdensome physical and depressive symptoms independently predicted subsequent HF-specific health status in patients with symptomatic HF. Whether addressing these aspects of the patient experience can improve health status and well-being in symptomatic HF should be studied further.