Symptom Recognition in Elders with Heart Failure Study
The study “Symptom Recognition in Elders with Heart Failure” divided 29 people who had been diagnosed with chronic heart failure for at least six months into two groups: those who were younger than 73 year, and those who were 73 and older. Researchers measured each group’s ability to detect and interpret their heart failure symptoms.
Using a six-minute walk test, researchers measured the ability of heart failure patients to detect shortness of breath. Findings confirmed that older patients had more difficulty in detecting and interpreting shortness of breath than younger patients.
The recommended next step: Family members, nurses and physicians must explore older patients’ statements about how they feel. “I feel fine” or “I’m a little tired” can’t be enough for older patients with heart failure.