The work of being a heart failure patient: Exploring burden of treatment in heart failure from the patient perspective.
Heart failure (HF) is a chronic, progressive syndrome, characterized by cardinal symptoms of dyspnoea, fatigue, and signs of volume overload requiring people to manage their symptoms and following a strict treatment regimen. The demands of daily HF treatment and self-care behaviours have been described as challenging and complex, and many individuals fail to adhere to HF treatment regimens. As the self-care challenges grows, patients may experience a burden of treatment,
defined as the “workload” placed on patients by the healthcare and the impact this has on functioning and wellbeing.
Burden of treatment is an important clinical issue to study in HF patients because it may lead to non-adherence to treatment. Furthermore, suboptimal adherence to the complex treatment and self-care tasks of HF may impose severe consequences on the patients’ clinical outcomes, such as reduced quality of life, hospitalization and increased mortality. However, little is known of how patients with HF experience different aspects of burden of treatment and how they perceive their capacity to manage the burden of treatment and self-care. Additionally, aspects of emotional work, an important aspect of living with HF, has not been addressed in previous research.