Year of Publication

2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Nursing

Department

Nursing

First Advisor

Dr. Misook L. Chung

Abstract

The purpose of this dissertation was to examine the associations among social support, gender, relationship quality, and self-care behaviors in patients with heart failure (HF). Specific aims were to: 1) compare the psychometric properties of the 12-item and the 9-item European Heart Failure Self-Care Behavior Scale (EHFScBS) when used to measure self-care behaviors in patients with HF in the United States; 2) determine whether gender moderated the association between perceived social support and daily sodium intake in patients with HF; and 3) determine whether a patient’s gender and relationship with the primary family caregiver (spousal or non-spousal) moderated the association between relationship quality and HF self-care.

For the first specific aim, reliability and validity of the 12-item and the 9-item EHFScBS were compared by measures of internal consistency of reliability, item analysis, exploratory factor analysis, and hypothesis testing. The 12-item and the 9-item EHFScBS were valid and reliable when used to measure self-care behaviors in the United States. The 9-item EHFScBS was more homogenous with dimensions closer to the originally proposed dimensions when compared to the 12-item EHFScBS. The second specific aim was addressed by secondary analysis of data from The RICH Heart Program HF Registry. A hierarchical multiple regression model was used to determine whether gender moderated the association between social support and daily sodium intake. In our study, gender did not moderate the association between social support and daily sodium intake. The third specific aim was addressed using hierarchical multiple regression analyses to determine whether gender or relationship type moderated the association between relationship quality and HF self-care. Baseline data from an ongoing longitudinal, randomized controlled trial of a patient-caregiver dyadic intervention program were used in the analysis. Relationship quality was measured using the patient version of the Dyadic Relationship Scale, which consists of two subscales: positive dyadic interaction and negative dyadic strain. Heart failure self-care was measured using the 9-item EHFScBS. Positive dyadic interaction was associated with better HF self-care in female patients or patients with a non-spousal relationship with their family caregiver.

This dissertation has fulfilled important gaps in the evidence base for the self-care of patients with HF. The findings from this dissertation provided evidence for the validity and reliability of the 9-item EHFScBS when used to measure HF self-care behaviors. It also provided recommendations for future research to measure directed social support to adopt a specific behavior, such as eating low sodium diet, instead of measuring the social support in general. It also emphasized the importance of examining the quality of the relationship between patients and their family caregivers. The findings also pointed to the need for interventions targeting the relationship quality to be tailored according to the patients’ gender or their relationship type with their family caregiver (spousal or non-spousal). A better understanding of how social factors can impact self-care behaviors in patients with HF is essential, as it gives researchers and healthcare providers the prospect of developing effective interventions to improve HF self-care.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/etd.2018.509

Available for download on Saturday, December 19, 2020

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