Self-management of heart failure in dementia and cognitive impairment: A systematic review

Janaka Lovell, Tony Pham, Samer Q. Noaman, Marie Claire Davis, Marilyn Johnson, Joseph E. Ibrahim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The cornerstone of effective management in heart failure (HF) is the ability to self-care. Aims include i) To determine factors influencing self-care in HF patients with cognitive impairment (CI) and ii) to determine the influence of cognitive domains on self-care in patients with HF and CI. Methods: MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, EBSCOHost, PsychINFO, ProQuest Research Library, Health Technology Assessment Database, The Cochrane Library, Web of Science and Scopus databases were systematically searched. Original research describing the relationship between cognition and HF self-care in community-dwelling older persons with dementia/CI in English, published in a peer-reviewed journal from 1 st January(2000)-22 nd March(2016) was identified. Study and population characteristics, data sources, self-care processes, methods of cognitive assessment, cognitive domains affected, study outcomes, impact of impairment, and other risk factors of self-care impairment were abstracted by two reviewers. Results: Of 10,688 studies identified, 14 met the inclusion criteria. Patients with HF and CI ranged from 14 to 73%. Where reported, self-care maintenance adequacy ranged from 50 to 61%; self-care management adequacy ranged from 14 to 36% and self-care confidence adequacy ranged from 0 to 44% on the Self-care of Heart Failure Index (SCHFI). All but one study predicted poor self-care ability according to poor outcome on cognitive testing. Additionally, specific cognitive domain deficits impaired self-care. Subjects with lower cognitive scores were less likely to seek assistance while subjects with depression had poor self-care abilities. Conclusions: Clinicians must consider the type and severity of impairments in cognitive domains to tailor management. Awareness of depression, self-confidence and support access may modulate self-care ability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number99
Number of pages18
JournalBMC Cardiovascular Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2019


  • Aging
  • Cognitive domains
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Dementia
  • Heart failure
  • Self care

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