Fatigue representations in women with heart failure



Self-care management of symptoms for persons with heart failure (HF) may only be successful when their representations regarding their symptoms are accurate and linked to appropriate behavioral strategies. The purpose of this secondary data analysis (N = 169 women with HF) was to describe representations of one HF-related symptom, fatigue, and examine whether representations were related to physical health status, health care utilization, and psychological well-being and whether they differed by age. Overall, women agreed that fatigue was chronic, caused by HF, and had serious consequences. Midlife women reported more emotional distress and severe consequences from fatigue than older women. Higher levels of emotional distress due to fatigue from HF were associated with higher levels of health care utilization. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 29: 452–464, 2006