Predictors of Cognitive/Affective and Somatic Depression in Heart Failure Patients

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The effects of depression on patients with heart failure (HF) are substantial, yet the predictors remain unclear. The predictors of cognitive/affective and somatic depression in stable HF patients were studied. Using a cross-sectional design, 150 HF outpatients were recruited at two mid-Western HF clinics. Predictors included dyspnea with activities of daily living, family and friend social support, and loneliness; age and gender were control variables. All constructs were measured using standardized instruments. Structural equation modeling (SEM) showed that cognitive/affective depression was predicted by greater dyspnea and loneliness, whereas somatic depression was predicted by more dyspnea and friend support. Also, greater dyspnea was related to more loneliness and less friend support; less friend support was related to loneliness. Women reported more dyspnea and loneliness. Since cognitive/affective and somatic depression have different predictors, further study is warranted to identify HF patients at risk for depression and to establish interventions targeted at improving depression.

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