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chronic insomnia, heart failure, self-care, self-management, symptoms



  1. Breazeale, Stephen
  2. Jeon, Sangchoon
  3. Hwang, Youri
  4. O'Connell, Meghan
  5. Nwanaji-Enwerem, Uzoji
  6. Linsky, Sarah
  7. Yaggi, H. Klar
  8. Jacoby, Daniel L.
  9. Conley, Samantha
  10. Redeker, Nancy S.


Background: Almost 50% of people with heart failure (HF) experience chronic insomnia and must perform self-care to manage their day-to-day healthcare needs. Understanding multifactorial influences on self-care, including demographic, clinical, and sleep characteristics, and mood and somatic symptoms will help identify people at highest risk for poor self-care. However, past research focused only on the associations of single symptoms and self-care. Multivariate approaches are needed to account for the synergistic associations of self-care with sleep, mood, and somatic symptoms among people with HF.


Objectives: The aims of the study were to (a) evaluate the levels of self-care maintenance and self-care confidence among people with stable HF and chronic insomnia; (b) identify the clinical and demographic correlates of self-care maintenance and confidence among people with stable HF and chronic insomnia; and (c) identify the associations between sleep characteristics, mood and somatic symptoms, and self-care maintenance and confidence among people with stable HF and chronic insomnia.


Methods: We utilized a cross-sectional design with 195 adult participants who had chronic HF and insomnia. We assessed for symptoms of anxiety; depression; dyspnea; fatigue; stress; insomnia severity; and sleep disturbance, impairment, and quality. Self-care was measured using the Self-Care for Heart Failure Index v6.2. We used generalized linear models to test the associations between the demographic and clinical factors and self-care maintenance and confidence; exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis to identify the factor structure underlying the symptoms; and structural equation modeling to test the combined associations of the demographic and clinical factors and latent factors with self-care maintenance and confidence.


Results: Self-care maintenance, confidence, and management were inadequate in most participants. We identified three latent factors among the nine symptoms: "sleep characteristics," "mood," and "somatic symptoms." In the structural equation model, "sleep characteristics," White race, and having a left ventricular ejection fraction of <45 were associated with self-care maintenance. Age was negatively associated with self-care confidence.


Discussion: Poor sleep characteristics negatively influence the ability of people with HF and insomnia to perform self-care behaviors. Knowledge of the associations among age, left ventricular ejection fraction, and race with self-care will help clinicians and future researchers identify those at risk for poor self-care.