Uncertainty among Heart Failure Patients and Its Relation to Their Health Related Quality of Life
Uncertainty was described as “The gap between what is known and what needs to be known in order to make correct decisions”. Uncertainty has been identified as a significant part of the experience of heart disease and yet no studies have fully explored the experience of uncertainty in patients living with chronic heart failure. Objective: The study aimed to explore the uncertainty in heart failure and its relation to patient’s health related quality of life (HRQOL). Setting: The study was conducted at the Out Patient Cardiac Clinic of King Abdul Aziz University Hospital in Jeddah. Subjects: A convenience sample of 60 heart failure patients were enrolled for follow up, their age ranged from 55 up to 65 years. Tools: three tools were used by the researchers to collect the necessary data: Tool I: Biosociodemogaphic characteristics tool. Tool II: Mishel uncertainty in illness scale (MUIS-C). Tool III: Health related quality of life measures (HRQOL) was used to examine disease specific HRQOL. Results: A high level of uncertainty was found in 34 (57%) heart failure patients. The mean score of heart failure patient's uncertainty was 71+3.1, while the mean score among patients with high and low uncertainty were 75+4.56 & 64.5+2.88 respectively with no significant difference. In relation to HRQOL, the overall mean score of patients was 22.3+1.7. On the contrary, the mean score of patient's HRQOL with high uncertainty was 20.66+2.12, while the mean score of patient's HRQOL with low uncertainty was 23.63+3.61. The study clearly showed highly significant impact of uncertainty (according to F-test, p<0.01, p<0.05) on HRQOL concerning physical functioning, emotional and general health between patient’s with low and high uncertainty. Low uncertainty patients had better quality of life concerning physical functioning, emotional and general health. Conclusion: The majority of heart failure patients had a high uncertainty level, which affect patient's quality of life negatively. Recommendations: It is recommended to consider the heart failure patient's uncertainty level and its negative effect on patient’s quality of life as basic aspect of patient's management. Consequently the cardiac patient's health condition will be improved without further cardiac complications and repeated attacks of heart failure problems.