Objective To explore associations among twenty formal and informal, societal and individual-level factors and quality of life (QOL) among people living with congestive heart failure (CHF) in two settings with different healthcare and social care systems and sociocultural contexts. Setting and participants We recruited 367 adult patients with CHF from a single heart failure clinic within two countries with different national social to healthcare spending ratios: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States (US), and Nijmegen, Netherlands (NL). Design Cross-sectional survey study. We adapted the Social Quality Model (SQM) to organize twenty diverse factors into four categories: Living Conditions (formal-societal: E.g., housing, education), Social Embeddedness (informal-societal: E.g., social support, trust), Societal Embeddedness (formal-individual: E.g., access to care, legal aid), and Self-Regulation (informal-individual: E.g., physical health, resilience). We developed a survey comprising validated instruments to assess each factor. We administered the survey in-person or by mail between March 2017 and August 2018. Outcomes We used Cantril's Self-Anchoring Scale to assess overall QOL. We used backwards stepwise regression to identify factors within each SQM category that were independently associated with QOL among US and NL participants (p<0.05). We then identified factors independently associated with QOL across all categories (p<0.05). Results 367 CHF patients from the US (32%) and NL (68%) participated. Among US participants, financial status, receiving legal aid or housing assistance, and resilience were associated with QOL, and together explained 49% of the variance in QOL; among NL participants, financial status, perceived physical health, independence in activities of daily living, and resilience were associated with QOL, and explained 53% of the variance in QOL. Conclusions Four formal and informal factors explained approximately half of the variance in QOL among patients with CHF in the US and NL.
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