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Depressive Symptoms and Heart Failure: Examining the Sociodemographic Variables


doi: 10.1097/NUR.0b013e3181a443b4
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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the differences in depressive symptoms among a sample of heart failure outpatients by examining sociodemographic and clinical variables: sex, race, marital status, living arrangement/status, heart failure severity, and age. The most frequently reported depressive symptoms were also examined.

Design: A descriptive, cross-sectional design was used.

Setting: Patients were enrolled in a larger research study from 5 clinics in the Midwest (1 adult primary care medicine clinic, 1 heart clinic, and 3 heart failure clinics).

Sample: The sample included 150 patients with mean age of 61.3 years; 88 (59%) were men, and 62 (41%) were women; 47 (31%) were African American, 101 (67%) were white, and 2 (2%) were Asian patients. Forty-seven percent of the patient sample were New York Heart Association class III. Approximately half (51%) of the patient sample were married.

Methods: The Patient Health Questionnaire 8 was used to measure depressive symptoms. Heart failure severity was assessed using the New York Heart Association classification.

Findings: Patients with class III and IV had significantly more depressive symptoms than patients with class I and II (P < .0001). Age was negatively correlated with depressive symptoms scores (P < .0002). There were no significant differences in depressive symptoms among the variables of sex, race, marital status, or living arrangement. The most frequently reported depressive symptom was "feeling tired/no energy."

Conclusions: The findings from this study may contribute to the development of a broader knowledge base regarding depressive symptoms and its correlates in heart failure and may be used as a foundation for further research.

Author Affiliations: Cardiac Stress Testing Laboratory, Krannert Institute of Cardiology, Indiana University School of Nursing, Indianapolis (Ms Rohyans); and University of Michigan School of Nursing, Ann Arbor (Dr Pressler).

National Institute of Nursing Research RO1 NR008147 supported this study.

Corresponding author: Linda M. Rohyans, RN, BSN, MPC-2 Building Suite 4000, 1801 N. Senate Boulevard, Indianapolis, IN 46202 (

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.