The accuracy of heart failure beliefs in rural Montana and Wyoming
Ostermiller, Janice Lynn
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The purpose of this study was to examine the accuracy of illness beliefs of individuals diagnosed with heart failure (HF) in the rural states of Montana and Wyoming. In 2012, 2.4% of the United States population had a diagnosis of HF and this was expected to increase to nearly three percent of the total population by 2030. Accurate heart failure beliefs have been linked to engagement in recommended self-care behaviors leading to better health outcomes. This study used a descriptive design to analyze illness beliefs of Montana and Wyoming residents living with HF. A convenience sample of 50 individuals was recruited from a 300-bed acute care hospital located in Montana. Each participant completed the Survey of Illness Beliefs in HF Instrument, a 14-item survey that measures the accuracy of HF beliefs. The overall sample had inaccurate HF illness beliefs. Rural participants had less accurate heart failure illness beliefs when compared to non-rural participants. Further research is necessary to determine predictors of inaccurate HF beliefs. Nursing interventions targeted at rural dwellers may help to improve the accuracy of illness beliefs.