All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Joan S Grant

Advisory Committee Members

David E Vance

Erica R Pryor

Laurie Grubbs

Sally Karioth

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2014

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Nursing

Abstract

Introduction: Heart failure (HF) is a chronic condition that progressively worsens over time. The condition is more common in individuals over the age of 65 and commonly causes dyspnea, fatigue, orthopnea, nocturnal dyspnea, edema, and activity intolerance. Prior studies suggest a relationship between HF-related physical symptoms and depressive symptomatology in individuals living with HF. Depressive symptomatology in individuals with HF are linked with a higher mortality rate, decreased quality of life, decreased functional status, and disturbed sleep. Additionally, HF-related physical symptoms impact self-care in individuals living with HF. Previous studies have found that symptom severity and the associated decrease in functional status negatively influence self-care among individuals with HF. Prior research has suggested that social support and social problem-solving may impact the relationship between HF-related physical symptoms and depressive symptomatology, yet research to date has failed to determine the nature of this relationship. Likewise, social support and social problem-solving may also influence the relationship between HF-related physical symptoms and self-care behaviors; however, previous findings are neither consistent nor conclusive. Article Synthesis: Three published articles (Graven & Grant, 2013a, 2013b, 2014) are provided in this dissertation to describe background information on HF, as well as to illustrate and synthesize current empirical data related to the relationships among the physical symptoms of HF, social support, coping (i.e., component of social problem-solving), depressive symptomatology, and self-care behaviors in individuals with HF. A fourth article, prepared for journal submission, reports pilot findings related to the relationships among HF symptoms, social support, social problem-solving, and depressive symptoms, as well as information regarding the reliability of study instruments. The final article, also prepared for journal submission, provides findings from the investigator's dissertation study (N = 201) that examined relationships among the physical symptoms of HF, social support, social problem-solving, depressive symptoms, and self-care behaviors using structural equation modeling. Findings from this descriptive, correlational study contribute to the body of science related to HF and can potentially be used to develop interventions that promote coping, thus impacting psychological well-being and self-care in individuals with HF.

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Nursing Commons

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