Self-Care and Health Outcomes (T Jaarsma, Section Editor)

Current Heart Failure Reports

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 307-313

First online:

Women with Heart Failure: Do They Require a Special Approach for Improving Adherence to Self-Care?

  • Kelly D. StampAffiliated withBoston College, William F. Connell School of Nursing Email author 

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The purpose of this review is to evaluate research regarding whether women with heart failure (HF) need a special approach for improving their adherence to self-care. Prior research has sampled mostly white, male populations and these results have been generalized to the population of all HF patients. After age 65, women are at a higher risk than men for developing HF. Once women develop HF they are more likely than men with HF to experience greater symptom burden, re-hospitalizations, social isolation, and higher mortality rates. In this review we will explore barriers and facilitators that women experience when performing self-care, and whether they need individualized interventions or approaches to care that are different from those for male patients with HF. Special approaches such as assessment of social support and self-care counseling when treating women with HF will be discussed, as this may improve women’s adherence, thereby slowing the symptom burden and disease progression.


Heart failure Women and heart failure Self-care Self-care behaviors Adherence Chronic illness Self-management Self-care maintenance Self-care confidence Self-efficacy