Degree of Disability and Patterns of Caregiving among Older Americans with Congestive Heart Failure
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- Gure, T.R., Kabeto, M.U., Blaum, C.S. et al. J GEN INTERN MED (2008) 23: 70. doi:10.1007/s11606-007-0456-1
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Although congestive heart failure (CHF) is a common condition, the extent of disability and caregiving needs for those with CHF are unclear. We sought to determine: (1) prevalence of physical disability and geriatric conditions, (2) whether CHF is independently associated with disability, (3) rates of nursing home admission, and (4) formal and informal in-home care received in the older CHF population.
We used cross-sectional data from the 2000 wave of the Health and Retirement Study. We compared outcomes among three categories of older adults: (1) no coronary heart disease (CHD), (2) CHD, without CHF, and (3) CHF. Compared to those without CHF, respondents reporting CHF were more likely to be disabled (P < 0.001) and to have geriatric conditions (P < 0.001). Respondents reporting CHF were more likely to have been admitted to a nursing home (P < 0.05). CHF respondents were more functionally impaired than respondents without CHF.
The adjusted average weekly informal care hours for respondents reporting CHF was higher than for those reporting CHD but without CHF and those reporting no CHD (6.7 vs 4.1 vs 5.1, respectively; P < 0.05). Average weekly formal caregiving hours also differed among the three groups (1.3 CHF vs 0.9 CHD without CHF vs 0.7 no CHD; P > 0.05).
CHF imposes a significant burden on patients, families, and the long-term care system. Older adults with CHF have higher rates of disability, geriatric conditions, and nursing home admission.