Current Heart Failure Reports

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 13–22 | Cite as

Detecting and Managing Cognitive Impairment to Improve Engagement in Heart Failure Self-Care

  • Jan CameronEmail author
  • Robyn Gallagher
  • Susan J. Pressler
Self-Care and Health Outcomes (R Gallagher and R Clark, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Self-Care and Health Outcomes


Purpose of the Review

The purpose of this review was to examine the recent literature on detecting cognitive impairment in patients with heart failure (HF) and the evidence indicating any ramifications of cognitive impairment on patient engagement in HF self-care.

Recent Findings

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is common in HF and impacts on patients’ engagement in self-care, yet it is frequently not detected. The use of screening tools, even when brief, improves detection of MCI. However, the most sensitive, specific and feasible screening measure to use in practice is yet to be identified. A full neuropsychological assessment is required to determine a diagnosis of cognitive impairment and to identify the specific areas of cognitive deficit. In patients with HF, there appears to be differing clusters of cognitive deficits. Identification of these deficits may help inform the application of specific cognitive training strategies to ameliorating cognitive changes in HF patients and potentially enhance engagement in self-care.


Screening for cognitive impairment is crucial in the management of HF patients to ensure that potential self-care deficits are prevented. The optimal screening tool is yet to be identified.


Heart failure Self-care Cognitive screening Cognitive impairment 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Jan Cameron, Robyn Gallagher and Susan J Pressler declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Cameron
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Robyn Gallagher
    • 3
  • Susan J. Pressler
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash HealthMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia
  2. 2.Australian Centre for Heart Health, The Royal Melbourne HospitalParkvilleAustralia
  3. 3.Charles Perkins Centre, Sydney Nursing SchoolUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
  4. 4.Center for Enhancing Quality of Life in Chronic IllnessIndiana University, School of NursingIndianapolisUSA

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