Self-management of heart failure in dementia and cognitive impairment: a systematic review Academic Article uri icon


  • Background

    The cornerstone of effective management in heart failure (HF) is the ability to self-care. Aims include i) To determine factors influencing self-care in HF patients with cognitive impairment (CI) and ii) to determine the influence of cognitive domains on self-care in patients with HF and CI.


    MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, EBSCOHost, PsychINFO, ProQuest Research Library, Health Technology Assessment Database, The Cochrane Library, Web of Science and Scopus databases were systematically searched. Original research describing the relationship between cognition and HF self-care in community-dwelling older persons with dementia/CI in English, published in a peer-reviewed journal from 1stJanuary(2000)-22ndMarch(2016) was identified. Study and population characteristics, data sources, self-care processes, methods of cognitive assessment, cognitive domains affected, study outcomes, impact of impairment, and other risk factors of self-care impairment were abstracted by two reviewers.


    Of 10,688 studies identified, 14 met the inclusion criteria. Patients with HF and CI ranged from 14 to 73%. Where reported, self-care maintenance adequacy ranged from 50 to 61%; self-care management adequacy ranged from 14 to 36% and self-care confidence adequacy ranged from 0 to 44% on the Self-care of Heart Failure Index (SCHFI). All but one study predicted poor self-care ability according to poor outcome on cognitive testing. Additionally, specific cognitive domain deficits impaired self-care. Subjects with lower cognitive scores were less likely to seek assistance while subjects with depression had poor self-care abilities.


    Clinicians must consider the type and severity of impairments in cognitive domains to tailor management. Awareness of depression, self-confidence and support access may modulate self-care ability.


  • Lovell, Janaka
  • Pham, Tony
  • Noaman, Samer Q
  • Davis, Marie-Claire
  • Johnson, Marilyn
  • Ibrahim, Joseph E

publication date

  • 2019