Quality of life and symptoms of depression in advanced heart failure patients and their partners

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Abstract

Purpose of review

To provide an overview of factors related to quality of life and symptoms of depression in heart failure patients and their partners. Furthermore, to give an overview of interventions that can be effective in improving their quality of life and decrease depressive symptoms.

Recent findings

Quality of life of patients with heart failure and their partners is poor compared with their age-matched peers from the general population and also compared with patients suffering from other chronic diseases. Furthermore, many heart failure patients are depressed. Depressive symptoms of patients and of their partners seem to be interrelated, making interventions complicated but needed.

Recent findings

Although the number of studies that specifically target improvement of quality of life and depression in heart failure patients and their partners is still small, several interventions are known to improve quality of life, and these could be implemented in daily care.

Summary

This review considers demographic and clinical factors that are related to quality of life and depressive symptoms and addresses interventions that can contribute to improvement of quality of life of heart failure patients and their partners and decrease depressive symptoms.

Summary

Education on self-care management and physical exercise are important elements of disease management programs. A multidisciplinary care approach including optimizing medical therapy and optimal symptom management is advised, focusing both on the patient and the caregiver. Treatment and care should not only focus on heart failure, but also address the consequences of co-morbidities and the side-effects of therapies.

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