Correlates of psychological distress in elderly patients with congestive heart failure

Doris S.F. Yu, Diana T.F. Lee, Jean Woo, David, R. Thompson

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41 Citations (Scopus)


High levels of psychological distress have been reported in patients with congestive heart failure (CHF), resulting in increased morbidity and mortality. Yet, little is known about its associated factors. The purpose of this study is to identify the significant demographic, clinical and psychosocial correlates of psychological distress in CHF patients. Cross-sectional data were obtained from a sample of a consecutive series of hospitalized CHF patients (n=227) with measures of psychological distress, functional status, symptom status, social support and health perception. Objective clinical variables were obtained from the hospital records. High levels of psychological distress, in particular, depression, were found in patients with CHF. In hierarchical regression analysis, poorer perceived emotional-informational support, higher levels of fatigue, poorer health perception and not living with family were identified as the significant correlates of psychological distress. These correlates, in total, explained 49% of the variance for the scores of psychological distress. None of the objective clinical variables demonstrated a significant contribution that accounted for psychological distress in CHF patients. The findings highlight the importance of addressing social support for CHF patients. Assisting this vulnerable patient group to cope with fatigue and to cultivate a positive health perception are also highly prioritized treatment goals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-581
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2004


  • Anxiety
  • Chronic illness
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Depression
  • Psychological distress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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