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J Card Fail. 2015 Sep;21(9):719-29. doi: 10.1016/j.cardfail.2015.05.012. Epub 2015 May 29.

Randomized clinical trial of an integrated self-care intervention for persons with heart failure and diabetes: quality of life and physical functioning outcomes.

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Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. Electronic address:
Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.
Rollins School of Public Health and School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.
School of Medicine and School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia; Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York.



Persons with concomitant heart failure (HF) and diabetes mellitus (DM) have complicated, often competing, self-care expectations and treatment regimens that may reduce quality of life (QOL). This randomized controlled trial tested an integrated self-care intervention on outcomes of HF and DM QOL, physical function, and physical activity (PA).


Participants with HF and DM (n = 134; mean age 57.4 ± 11 years, 66% men, 69% minority) were randomized to usual care (control) or intervention. The control group received standard HF and DM educational brochures with follow-up telephone contact. The intervention group received education and counseling on combined HF and DM self-care (diet, medications, self-monitoring, symptoms, and PA) with follow-up home visit and telephone counseling. Measures included questionnaires for HF- and DM-specific and overall QOL, PA frequency, and physical function (6-min walk test [6MWT]) and were obtained at baseline and 3 and 6 months. Analysis included mixed models with a priori post hoc tests. Adjusting for age, body mass index, and comorbidity, the intervention group improved in HF total (P = .002) and physical (P < .001) QOL scores at 3 months with retention of improvements at 6 months, improved in emotional QOL scores compared with control at 3 months (P = .04), and improved in health status ratings (P = .04) at 6 months compared with baseline. The intervention group improved in 6MWT distance (924 ft to 952 ft; P = .03) whereas the control group declined (834 ft to 775 ft; F1,63 = 6.86; P = .01). The intervention group increased self-reported PA between baseline and 6 months (P = .01).


An integrated HF and DM self-care intervention improved perceived HF and general QOL but not DM QOL. Improved physical functioning and self-reported PA were also observed with the integrated self-care intervention. Further study of the HF and DM integrated self-care intervention on other outcomes, such as hospitalization and cost, is warranted.



Heart failure; diabetes; intervention; quality of life; self-care

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