What matters to patients with heart failure? The influence of non-health-related goals on patient adherence to self-care management Journal Articles uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVE: To describe the life goals of heart failure (HF) patients and to determine whether adherence is influenced by the extent to which these priorities are perceived as compatible with HF self-care regimens. METHOD: Forty HF outpatients identified their top-five life goals and indicated the compatibility of HF self-care regimens (diet, exercise, weighing) with these priorities. HF knowledge, self-efficacy and reported adherence were also assessed. RESULTS: Patients valued autonomy and social relationships as much as physical health. However, the rated importance of these domains did not predict adherence. Adherence positively correlated with the extent to which the regimen, specifically exercise, was considered compatible with life goals (r=.34, p<.05). Exercise adherence also correlated with illness severity and self-efficacy (rs=-.42 and .36, p<.05, respectively). The perceived compatibility of physical activity with personal goals predicted 11% of the variance in exercise adherence above and beyond that accounted for by illness severity and self-efficacy (FΔ (1, 36)=7.11, p<.05). CONCLUSIONS: Patients' goals outside of the illness management context influence self-care practices. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Exploring patients' broad life goals may increase opportunities to resolve ambivalence and enhance motivation for self-care adherence.


  • Zhang, Karen
  • Dindoff, Kathleen
  • Arnold, J Malcolm O
  • Lane, Jeanine
  • Swartzman, Leora C

publication date

  • August 2015