Thoughts about death and perceived health status in elderly patients with heart failure
2008 (English)In: European Journal of Heart Failure, ISSN 1388-9842, Vol. 10, no 6, 608-613 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Aim: To explore thoughts about death and perceived health status in elderly patients with heart failure during a 6 month period after a deterioration needing hospitalisation. Methods: A descriptive, mixed methods design was used. Health was measured with EuroQol-5D, thoughts about death with multiple choice and open questions. A total of 145 patients with New York Heart Association class II-IV heart failure, mean age 70 years, 70% males, were included. Results: During deterioration, 16% of the patients were afraid of dying and 4% had this fear very often. Fear of death did not change significantly during the 6 months after deterioration. Both during deterioration (r = 0.26, P < 0.01) and 6 months later (r = 0.40, P < 0.001), fear of death and anxiety/depression were correlated. Content analysis of the open question produced 5 categories: (1) Death as a natural part of life, (2) Death as a relief from symptoms and disability (3) Death as fearful (4) Arrangements for time after death (5) A wish for an extended life. Conclusion: Elderly patients with heart failure had a lot of thoughts about death. Higher levels of anxiety/depression were correlated to fear of death. Many expressed death as a natural relief from suffering, others were afraid of pain, loss of independence and dignity. © 2008.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 10, no 6, 608-613 p.
National CategoryMedical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-42738DOI: 10.1016/j.ejheart.2008.04.011Local ID: 68479OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-42738DiVA: diva2:263595