• dyspnea;
  • hypertension;
  • nursing;
  • quality of life;
  • Short Form-36;
  • ventricular function

palhares l.c., gallani m.-c.b.j., gemignani t., matos-souza j.r., ubaid-girioli s., moreno h. jr, franchini k.g., nadruz w. jr & rodrigues r.c.m. (2010) Quality of life, dyspnea and ventricular function in patients with hypertension. Journal of Advanced Nursing66(10), 2287–2296.


Aim.  This paper is a report of an investigation of the relationship between health-related quality of life and left ventricular function among patients with hypertension who did not fulfil the criteria for heart failure.

Background.  Heart failure is a common consequence of hypertension, with Doppler echocardiography being the gold-standard tool to evaluate left ventricular function, mainly hypertension-induced left ventricular damage. Echocardiographic data indicating poorer ventricular function have been related to lower levels of health-related quality of life in patients with systolic and/or diastolic heart failure. However, data are still lacking regarding the correlation between health-related quality of life and left ventricular function and structure in patients with hypertension who do not fulfil the criteria for heart failure.

Method.  Between September 2005 and February 2007, 98 patients with hypertension without systolic or diastolic heart failure were evaluated. Health-related quality of life was assessed using the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36. Left ventricular function was evaluated through Tissue Doppler echocardiography.

Results.  Statistically significant but weak correlations (varying from r = −0·22 to 0·35) were observed between some of the Short Form-36 domains and echo data. To consider the potential effect of dyspnoea in this relationship, patients were split according to the presence or absence of the symptom. In the subgroup without dyspnoea, similar patterns of correlation were observed (varying from r = 0·26 to 0·32). In the subgroup with dyspnoea, however, more and stronger correlations were observed between echo data and health-related quality of life domains, varying from r = −0·40 to 0·50.

Conclusion.  Nurses should be aware of the relevance of evaluating the functional echocardiographic data of patients who not fulfil heart failure criteria, but who experience dyspnoea in order to implement appropriate action plans.