Patient activation with respect to advanced heart failure therapy in patients over age 65 years

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Clinical and ethical issues persist in determining candidacy for advanced heart failure (HF) therapies in elderly patients. Selection takes many factors into account, including “activation” (engagement and ability to self-manage).


To investigate effects of age, activation, and depression/anxiety on selection and 6-month survival of participants considered for therapy.


Consecutive people referred for advanced HF therapy completed the Patient Activation Measure and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. We analyzed data from participants by age (≥65 vs. <65 years), stratified by approval for therapy.


Among 168 referred, 109 were approved, with no difference in activation between age groups (88% highly activated). Similarly, activation was not associated with age among those not approved. Activation was related to anxiety in older, approved participants, but not to depression.


Concerns regarding reduced self-management in the elderly may not be valid. Age alone should not disqualify a candidate for advanced HF therapy.

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