Prevalence of Symptoms in a Community-Based Sample of Heart Failure Patients

Sarah Barnes, Merryn Gott, Sheila Payne, Chris Parker, David Seamark, Salah Gariballa, Neil Small

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


This study explored the prevalence and burden of symptoms in a community-based sample of patients aged >60 with symptomatic heart failure. Five hundred forty-two patients were recruited from UK general practices. Participants completed the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire every 3 months for 2 years. Data are presented at baseline alongside findings from in-depth interviews with patients and focus groups with primary care professionals. Over half the participants experienced breathlessness and/or fatigue daily. Factors identified as predictive of symptom prevalence and burden were as follows: being female; being staged at New York Heart Association Class III or IV; having symptoms of depression; and having two or more comorbidities. Interviews identified other symptoms, including chest pain, nausea, sleep disruption, and confusion. Participants felt that symptoms restricted activities of daily living. Health professionals reported symptom control as being a concern of patients and identified their own educational needs in this area. Findings suggest that symptom prevalence and burden for this population is high. Primary care professionals should offer comprehensive assessment and treatment of symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-216
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Heart failure
  • community
  • older people
  • symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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