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Keywords:

  • English language version;
  • European Heart Failure Self-care Behaviour Scale;
  • heart failure;
  • instrument validation;
  • Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire;
  • nursing;
  • self-care;
  • Self-Care of Heart Failure Index

Abstract

Title. Evaluation of the European Heart Failure Self-care Behaviour Scale in a United Kingdom population

Aim.  This paper is a report of a study to test the internal consistency, reliability and validity of the 12-item European Heart Failure Self-care Behaviour Scale in an English-speaking sample in the United Kingdom.

Background.  The European Heart Failure Self-care Behaviour Scale quantifies the measures patients take to manage their heart failure. Produced in the Netherlands and Sweden, it has been translated into English.

Methods.  A convenience sample of 183 patients (response rate 85%) with heart failure (New York Heart Association, Class I–IV) was recruited from an outpatient clinic between July 2004 and July 2005. Mainly men (n = 143), they had a mean age of 65·6 years (sd = 12·3). They completed the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire, the Self-Care of Heart Failure Index, and the European Heart Failure Self-care Behaviour Scale during their clinic visit. The latter questionnaire was repeated at home within 2 weeks.

Results.  The scale was reliable but internal consistency was only moderate (Cronbach’s α = 0·69) and lower than in other European populations. It appears to be repeatable in the short-term. Comparison with the Self-Care of Heart Failure Index raised questions about whether the two questionnaires measured the same concept. Variance in self-care was not explained by gender, age or severity of heart failure.

Conclusion.  As self-care is an important component in the life of patients with heart failure, further exploration of the methods for measuring patients’ self-care behaviours is warranted to enable healthcare staff to assess patients effectively. This would also help in understanding the applicability of tools in a range of patients, cultures and settings.