HELP-HF (How elderly live with pain in heart failure): Public Health Significance

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Gordon R. Reeves, MD, MPT (Capstone Chair)

Suzanne Adams, RN, MPH (Capstone Preceptor)

Jocelyn Andrel-Sendecki, MSPH (Capstone Preceptor)

Lauren Couglin, MS (Research Coordinator)


HELP-HF was the first study to determine various pain characteristics in HF patients, its association with HF specific quality of life (QOL), use of pain methods, and its association to assess pain change and QOL in a pre-post design. Secondary data analysis of the 57 patients age ≥ 60 admitted for acute decompensated HF at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital was performed. Mean participants age was 73, 39% were women, 37 % were African-American, 40% living alone and 68% ever smoked. Most common comorbid conditions were hypertension (86%), coronary artery disease (70%), arthritis (53%), and DM (51%). Pain was reported by 84% of participants at hospitalization and 63% at 1 month follow-up. More participants reported constant pain (53%, 37%) compared to intermittent (40%, 24%) and brief pain (14%, 8%). Lower extremity was the most common pain location (68%, 45%). Patients used more pain medications at baseline (83%) than at follow-up (65%). Most common non-pharmacological methods used were hot/cold packs (52%, 49%) and physical activity (PA) (physical therapy or exercise) (44%, 27%). Increasing pain severity was significantly associated with poorer QOL (Baseline: worst-p

Presentation: 27 minutes