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Prevalence of symptoms in a community-based sample of heart failure patients.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

  • Sarah Barnes
  • Merryn Gott
  • Sheila Payne
  • David Seamark
  • Chris Parker
  • Salah Gariballa
  • Neil A. Small
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>09/2006
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number3
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)208-216
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This study explored the prevalence and burden of symptoms in a community-based sample of patients aged >60 with symptomatic heart failure. Five hundred forty-two patients were recruited from UK general practices. Participants completed the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire every 3 months for 2 years. Data are presented at baseline alongside findings from in-depth interviews with patients and focus groups with primary care professionals. Over half the participants experienced breathlessness and/or fatigue daily. Factors identified as predictive of symptom prevalence and burden were as follows: being female; being staged at New York Heart Association Class III or IV; having symptoms of depression; and having two or more comorbidities. Interviews identified other symptoms, including chest pain, nausea, sleep disruption, and confusion. Participants felt that symptoms restricted activities of daily living. Health professionals reported symptom control as being a concern of patients and identified their own educational needs in this area. Findings suggest that symptom prevalence and burden for this population is high. Primary care professionals should offer comprehensive assessment and treatment of symptoms.