Symptom clusters and quality of life among patients with advanced heart failure

D.S.F. Yu, H.Y.L. Chan, Yin Ping Leung, E. Hui, J.W.H. Sit

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


©2016 JGC All rights reserved.Objectives: To identify symptom clusters among patients with advanced heart failure (HF) and the independent relationships with their quality of life (QoL). Methods: This is the secondary data analysis of a cross-sectional study which interviewed 119 patients with advanced HF in the geriatric unit of a regional hospital in Hong Kong. The symptom profile and QoL were assessed by using the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS) and the McGill QoL Questionnaire. Exploratory factor analysis was used to identify the symptom clusters. Hierarchical regression analysis was used to examine the independent relationships with their QoL, after adjusting the effects of age, gender, and comorbidities. Results: The patients were at an advanced age (82.9 ± 6.5 years). Three distinct symptom clusters were identified: they were the distress cluster (including shortness of breath, anxiety, and depression), the decondition cluster (fatigue, drowsiness, nausea, and reduced appetite), and the discomfort cluster (pain, and sense of generalized discomfort). These three symptom clusters accounted for 63.25% of variance of the patients' symptom experience. The small to moderate correlations between these symptom clusters indicated that they were rather independent of one another. After adjusting the age, gender and comorbidities, the distress (? = -0.635, P < 0.001), the decondition (? = -0.148, P = 0.01), and the discomfort (? = -0.258, P < 0.001) symptom clusters independently predicted their QoL. Conclusions: This study identified the distinctive symptom clusters among patients with advanced HF. The results shed light on the need to develop palliative care interventions for optimizing the symptom control for this life-limiting disease.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-414
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Geriatric Cardiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Advanced heart failure
  • Palliative care model
  • Quality of life
  • Symptom clusters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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