Journal of Gerontological Nursing

Feature Article 

Challenges and Strategies for Heart Failure Symptom Management in Older Adults

Corrine Y. Jurgens, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, FAHA; Kathleen M. Shurpin, PhD, RN, ANP-C; Kellie A. Gumersell, MS, RN, ANP-C

Abstract

Heart failure (HF), predominant in adults older than 65, is a chronic and progressive syndrome frequently associated with the burden of distressing symptoms. HF symptom management is directed at treating the underlying causes of acute decompensation, which commonly relate to lack of medication adherence or dietary restriction. Therefore, for older adults capable of managing their health care needs, promotion of self-care is essential for symptom management. Using the Model of Heart Failure Self-Care as a guide, the purpose of this article is to discuss the relationship between self-care and HF symptom management and to provide nursing strategies for assessment and promotion of self-care in older adults with HF.

Abstract

Heart failure (HF), predominant in adults older than 65, is a chronic and progressive syndrome frequently associated with the burden of distressing symptoms. HF symptom management is directed at treating the underlying causes of acute decompensation, which commonly relate to lack of medication adherence or dietary restriction. Therefore, for older adults capable of managing their health care needs, promotion of self-care is essential for symptom management. Using the Model of Heart Failure Self-Care as a guide, the purpose of this article is to discuss the relationship between self-care and HF symptom management and to provide nursing strategies for assessment and promotion of self-care in older adults with HF.

Dr. Jurgens is Associate Dean for Nursing Research and Clinical Associate Professor, Dr. Shurpin is Professor, Stony Brook University, School of Nursing, and Ms. Gumersell is Clinical Nurse Specialist, Stony Brook University Medical Center, Stony Brook, New York.

The authors disclose that they have no significant financial interests in any product or class of products discussed directly or indirectly in this activity, including research support.

Address correspondence to Corrine Y. Jurgens, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, FAHA, Associate Dean for Nursing Research and Clinical Associate Professor, Stony Brook University, School of Nursing, HSC L2, Stony Brook, NY 11794-8240; e-mail: Corrine.jurgens@stonybrook.edu.

Received: March 06, 2010
Accepted: June 16, 2010
Posted Online: October 22, 2010

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Authors

Dr. Jurgens is Associate Dean for Nursing Research and Clinical Associate Professor, Dr. Shurpin is Professor, Stony Brook University, School of Nursing, and Ms. Gumersell is Clinical Nurse Specialist, Stony Brook University Medical Center, Stony Brook, New York.

The authors disclose that they have no significant financial interests in any product or class of products discussed directly or indirectly in this activity, including research support.

Address correspondence to Corrine Y. Jurgens, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, FAHA, Associate Dean for Nursing Research and Clinical Associate Professor, Stony Brook University, School of Nursing, HSC L2, Stony Brook, NY 11794-8240; e-mail: .Corrine.jurgens@stonybrook.edu

10.3928/00989134-20100930-06

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