Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Nursing

Dissertation Committee

Patricia A. Roth, EdD, RN; Cynthia D. Connelly, PhD, RN, FAAN; Denise M. Boren, PhD, RN


Heart Failure patients, hope, nursing, Psychosocial, self-care, social support, quality of life


Heart failure is a significant, chronic health problem. Much is known about physiological factors related to this condition. Less is known about the psychosocial aspects that influence disease risk, progression, and treatment. The purpose of this study was to describe the relationships between quality of life, hope, social support, and self-care. A descriptive, correlational study was conducted. The participants were 65 heart failure patients who attended 2 military-based heart failure clinics. Quality of Life was measured using the Left Ventricular Dysfunction Questionnaire (LVD-36), Hope was measured using the Herth Hope Index (HUI), Social Support was measured using the Medical Outcomes Study – Social Support Survey (MOS – SSS), and Self-Care was measured using the Self-Care of Heart Failure Index (SCHFI). A researcher developed form was utilized to capture demographic information. Higher levels of hope were found to be significantly related to quality of life. Social support and self-care were not found to be significantly related to quality of life. Findings revealed those patients who were diagnosed with heart failure for one year had improved quality of life compared to patients who were diagnosed with heart failure for eleven years. Patients who had no physical impairments (functional status Class I) had a better quality of life than patients who had slight to debilitating physical impairments (functional status Classes II, III, IV). Age, gender, race/ethnicity, marital status, and co-morbidity were not significantly related to quality of life. Quality of Life has been established as an important patient outcome. This study supports inclusion of hope fostering interventions in heart failure care and further examination of functional status and length of time of heart failure diagnosis in efforts to support heart failure patients' quality of life over time. Increased understanding of the significant relationship between psychosocial factors and patient outcomes necessitates their inclusion in heart failure care. Funding must be allocated to support education and research that supports development of new, cost effective models of care. Nursing is the ideal health care profession to move these treatment models forward.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access



Included in

Nursing Commons