Background: Social support is generally known to influence health-related quality of life (HRQoL), but this association is not well explored among older patients with chronic heart failure.
Aims: (1) To describe social support in older patients with chronic heart failure in relation to gender. (2) To investigate if age, gender, cohabitation, perceived financial situation, and disease severity are associated with social support. (3) To investigate if social support is associated with HRQoL after controlling for age, gender, and disease severity.
Methods: Data were collected in a sample of 349 patients (≥65 years) with chronic heart failure. Patients’ HRQoL was measured with the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire and the Short Form-12 Health Survey Questionnaire. The Interview Schedule for Social Interaction measured social support. Data were analysed with descriptive statistics, repeated-measure ANOVA, and multiple linear regression analyses with robust standard errors.
Results: Social support was generally rated high, although being a man, living alone, perceiving a problematic financial situation, and high disease severity (NYHA) were associated with lower levels of social support. Age was not associated with social support. Social support was generally associated with HRQoL, in particular the emotional dimensions.
Conclusion: Taking social support into account when caring for older patients with heart failure can be of importance for improving or maintaining HRQoL.
Swedish Standard Keywords
- Nursing (30305)
- health-related quality of life
- heart failure
- social support