Background: Heart failure (HF) is associated with cognitive impairment, which could negatively affect a patient’s abilities to carry out self-care, potentially resulting in higher hospital readmission rates. Factors associated with self-care in patients experiencing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are not known.
Objective: This descriptive correlation study aimed to assess levels of HF self-care and knowledge and to determine the predictors of self-care in HF patients who screen positive for MCI.
Methods: The Montreal Cognitive Assessment was used to screen for MCI. In 125 patients with MCI hospitalized with HF, self-care (Self-care of Heart Failure Index) and HF knowledge (Dutch Heart Failure Knowledge Scale) were assessed. We used multiple regression analysis to test a model of variables hypothesized to predict self-care maintenance, management, and confidence.
Results: Mean (SD) HF knowledge scores (11.24 [1.84]) were above the level considered to be adequate (defined as >10). Mean (SD) scores for self-care maintenance (63.57 [19.12]), management (68.35 [20.24]), and confidence (64.99 [16.06]) were consistent with inadequate self-care (defined as scores <70). In multivariate analysis, HF knowledge, race, greater disease severity, and social support explained 22% of the variance in self-care maintenance (P < .001); age, education level, and greater disease severity explained 19% of the variance in self-care management (P < .001); and younger age and higher social support explained 20% of the variance in self-care confidence scores (P < .001). Blacks, on average, scored significantly lower in self-care maintenance (P = .03).
Conclusion: In this sample, patients who screened positive for MCI, on average, had adequate HF knowledge yet inadequate self-care scores. These models show the influence of modifiable and nonmodifiable predictors for patients who screened positive for MCI across the domains of self-care. Health professionals should consider screening for MCI and identifying interventions that address HF knowledge and social support. Further research is needed to explain the racial differences in self-care.