Direction of the Relationship Between Acceptance of Illness and Health-Related Quality of Life in Chronic Heart Failure Patients

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Abstract

Background:

This study provides an in-depth insight into the relationships between illness acceptance and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of chronic heart failure (CHF) patients. Although HRQoL is a well-established endpoint in CHF, little is known on illness acceptance in this group.

Aims:

The aim of this study is to critically reconsider the direction of a relationship between HRQoL and illness acceptance in CHF patients.

Methods:

The study included 204 patients (160 men and 44 women; mean age, 63 ± 11 years) with at least 6-month clinical evidence of CHF corresponding to New York heart Association (NYHA) classes I to IV. All the patients were examined with the Minnesota Living With Heart Failure Questionnaire (MLHFQ) and Acceptance of Illness Scale (AIS).

Results:

Univariate analysis showed that the level of illness acceptance correlated inversely with patient age, and the level of HRQoL decreased with the severity of CHF (NYHA class). A relationship between illness acceptance and HRQoL was analyzed by structural equation modeling. Model 1 was based on the assumption that HRQoL is modulated by illness acceptance, and model 2 tested the opposite relationship. Both models included patient age and NYHA class as extrinsic determinants of AIS and MLHFQ scores, respectively. Model 2 proved to be well fitted (χ2 [df = 2] = 3.22, P = .20, root-mean-square error of approximation = 0.055). Scores on the AIS correlated inversely with age (bage->AIS = −0.15, SE = 0.05, P = .002) and HRQoL (bQoL->AIS = −0.15, SE = 0.02, P < .001), and an increase in NYHA class was reflected by an increase in HRQoL scores (bNYHA->QoL = 5.75, SE = 1.97, P = .004).

Conclusion:

Patients with CHF may not accept their disease due to deteriorated HRQoL. As a result, they may be uninvolved in the therapeutic process, which leads to exacerbation of CHF, further deterioration of HRQoL, and inability to accept the illness.

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