An East-West comparison of self-care barriers in heart failure.

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Barriers in heart failure self-care contribute to heart failure hospitalizations, but geographic differences have not been well-studied. We aimed to compare self-care barriers in heart failure patients managed at tertiary centers in an Eastern (Singapore) versus a Western (USA) nation.


Acute heart failure patients were prospectively assessed with a standardized instrument comprising of 47 distinct self-care barriers. The multi-equation generalized structural equation model was used to evaluate for geographic differences in barriers experienced, and association of barriers with outcomes.


Patient-related factors accounted for six out of 10 most prevalent self-care barriers among the 90 patients, with a median number of 11 barriers reported per patient. The Western patients reported a higher level of barriers when compared with their Eastern counterparts (median (interquartile range) 15 (9-24) versus 9 (4-16), p=0.001), after adjusting for demographics and co-morbidities. Many of these differences could be explained by geographic differences between the countries. There was no significant difference identified in all-cause mortality (19.4% versus 10.2%) and heart failure re-hospitalization (41.9% versus 45.8%) at six months between the groups.


Self-care barriers are highly prevalent among acute heart failure patients, and differ substantially between East and West, but were not associated with geographic differences in outcomes.

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