A Florida State University researcher was named a finalist for the Heart Failure Society of Americas Nursing Research Award for her study identifying predictors of depressive symptoms and poor self-care behaviors in heart failure patients.
Lucinda J. Graven, PhD, MSN, ARNP, an assistant professor in the College of Nursing in Tallahassee, investigated the relationships among heart failure symptom severity, social support, social problem-solving, depressive symptomatology and self-care behaviors in individuals with heart failure. The study is scheduled to be published in the American Journal of Health Behavior in January 2015, and a pilot study portion was published in the peer-reviewed journal Home Healthcare Nurse in October.
There are more than 5.8 million people living in the United States who suffer from heart failure, Graven said in a news release announcing her achievement. One of the things we know from the research is that in patients with heart failure, upwards of 50% of those people suffer from depression or depressive symptoms. We also know in heart failure patients over the age of 65 that heart failure is one of the leading diagnoses for hospitalizations.
The study examines psychosocial variables, particularly social support and how patients perceive their social network, and social support availability. The statistical method structural equation modeling allowed Graven to look at the relationships between all of these variables in one single analysis.
Its important to look at both of those aspects when trying to discern what could potentially lead to these poor outcomes, Graven said.
In addition, Graven studied social problem-solving in patients and how they perceive their problems, or problem orientation. The study evaluated how patients appraised their problems, their problem-solving styles and their effects on outcomes.
It was very important to see how they solve problems in a real world environment and if that potentially predisposes them to either depressive symptoms or poor self-care, Graven said in the release.
As a precursor to the actual study, Graven completed preliminary psychometrical analyses for a new social network instrument she developed and hopes to expand and test in people with various chronic disorders.
Graven was one of five finalists who competed for the Nursing Investigator Award at the HFSAs Annual Scientific Meeting Sept. 16 in Las Vegas, where she presented her research.