Quality of life in elderly heart failure patients

Kathleen L. Grady*, Kathleen Halvey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Quality of life (QOL), as a relevant area of research in the understanding of heart failure (HF) patient outcomes, has been increasingly studied during the last two decades. The purposes of this review article are to (1) describe QOL in older adults with HF, (2) identify and critique research designed to test interventions to improve QOL, (3) identify gaps in the literature, and (4) provide recommendations for future research. Seventeen studies describing QOL in older adults with HF were identified. Elderly HF patient QOL has been reported to be fair to poor and is worse as compared to a healthy control group. Furthermore, there is some evidence that suggests that QOL is better in older adults than younger adults and worse in women (both older and younger) than in men, although these findings are not consistent across studies. Predictors of QOL and its dimensions in older HF patients included demographic, clinical, and psychosocial variables. Sixteen interventional studies were identified that reported QOL as an outcome in older adults. Findings among randomized clinical trials (RCTs) to improve QOL outcomes in elderly HF patients do not allow strong conclusions about the benefits of the interventions. It must be noted, though, that while not all studies reported improvements in QOL (either significant or as a trend), no studies reported deterioration in QOL with randomization to an intervention versus control. These studies were limited by several methodological issues. While there has been some research of QOL in this elderly cohort, it is paramount that we address methodological issues and thereby improve the scientific rigor of our research, continue to explore QOL in elderly HF patients, and design intervention trials for elders at risk for poor QOL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-236
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Geriatric Cardiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • Elderly
  • Heart failure
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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