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Social support and health-related quality of life in chronic heart failure patients

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Objectives: Objectives of this study were to: (1) describe perceived social support during a baseline hospitalization and 12 months later among heart failure patients; (2) examine differences in social support as a function of gender and age (less than 65 and 65 years or older); and (3) examine social support as a predictor of health-related quality of life. Background: Social support is a predictor of well-being and mortality, but little is known about support patterns among heart failure patients and how they influence quality of life. Methods: The sample included 227 hospitalized patients with heart failure who completed the Social Support Survey and the Chronic Heart Failure Questionnaire at baseline; 147 patients completed these questionnaires again 12 months after baseline. Results: Mean baseline and 12-month total support scores were 56 and 53, respectively, with a score of 76 indicating the most positive perceptions of support. The ANOVA indicated significant interactions of gender by age for total (F = 5.04; p = 0.03) and emotional/informational support (F = 4.87; p = 0.03) and for positive social interactions (F = 4.43; p = 0.04), with men under age 65 perceiving less support than men aged 65 and older and women in either age group. Baseline support did not predict 12-month health-related quality of life, but changes in social support significantly predicted changes in health-related quality of life (R 2 = 0.14). Conclusions: Overall, perceptions of support were moderate to high, but there was wide variation in perceptions over time. Men under age 65 reported less support than other groups of patients. Importantly, changes in social support were significant predictors of changes in health-related quality of life.

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Bennett, S., Perkins, S., Lane, K. et al. Social support and health-related quality of life in chronic heart failure patients. Qual Life Res 10, 671–682 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1013815825500

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  • Heart failure
  • Quality of life
  • Social support