How do cognitive function and knowledge affect heart failure self-care?

Victoria Vaughan Dickson, Christopher S. Lee, Barbara Riegel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite extensive patient education, few heart failure (HF) patients master self-care. Impaired cognitive function may explain why patient education is ineffective. A concurrent triangulation mixed methods design was used to explore how knowledge and cognitive function influence HF self-care. A total of 41 adults with HF participated in interviews about self-care and completed standardized instruments measuring knowledge, cognitive function, and self-care. Content analysis uncovered themes suggesting that lack of understanding, not lack of knowledge, contributes to poor self-care. Linear regression tested the relative influence of knowledge and cognitive function on self-care. Cognitive function was a stronger determinant of self-care than knowledge. Poorer cognitive function was related to better self-care and explained in part by mixed methodology and the qualitative narratives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-189
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Mixed Methods Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • cognitive function
  • heart failure
  • knowledge
  • mixed methodology
  • self-care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty


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