Heart failure Patients Utilizing an Electric Home Monitor: What Effects Does Heart Failure Have on Their Quality of Life?

Gloria J. Simuel, Gardner-Webb University


Heart Failure continues to be a major public health problem associated with high mortality and morbidity. Heart Failure is the leading cause of hospitalization for persons older than 65 years, has a poor prognosis and is associated with poor quality of life. More than 5.3 million American adults are living with heart failure. Despite maximum medical therapy and frequent hospitalizations to stabilize their condition, one in five heart failure patients die within the first year of diagnosis. Several disease-management programs have been proposed and tested to improve the quality of heart failure care. Studies have shown that hospital admissions and emergency room visits decrease with increased nursing interventions in the home and community setting. An alternative strategy for promoting self-management of heart failure is the use of electronic home monitoring. The purpose of this study was to examine what effects heart failure has on patient's quality of life that had been monitoring on an electronic home monitor longer than 2 months. Twenty-one questionnaires were given to patients utilizing an electronic home monitor by their home health agency nurse. Eleven patients completed the questionnaire. The findings showed that there is some deterioration in quality of life with more association with the physical aspects of life than with the emotional aspects of life, which probably was due to the small sample size. There was no significant difference in readmission rates in patients utilizing an electronic home monitor. Further research is needed with a larger population of patients with chronic heart failure and other chronic diseases which may provide more data, and address issues such as patient compliance with self-care, impact of heart failure on patient's quality of life, functional capacity, and heart failure patient's utilization of the emergency rooms and hospital. Telemonitoring holds promise for improving the self-care abilities of persons with HF.