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Illness intrusiveness mediates the relationship between heart failure severity and depression

LeMaire AW, Shahane AA, Kimmel J, Dao T, Cully JA. Illness intrusiveness mediates the relationship between heart failure severity and depression. Journal of applied gerontology : the official journal of the Southern Gerontological Society. 2012 Oct 1; 31(5):608-621.

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Depression frequently co-occurs in heart failure (HF) patients, causing significant interference and negative health outcomes. This case-controlled study explored the construct of illness intrusiveness and examined its relationship to HF severity and depression. Older veterans (n = 104) with an HF diagnosis completed a one-time assessment that included demographics, depressive symptoms (Geriatric Depression Scale), the Illness Intrusiveness Rating Scale (IIRS), and HF quality of life and functional abilities (Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire [KCCQ]). Analyses included exploratory correlations between IIRS and KCCQ items, a confirmatory factor analysis (IIRS), and formal mediational analyses. Results indicated that the IIRS had adequate internal consistency and concurrent validity, with support for its established three-factor model. Regression analyses indicated that illness intrusiveness mediated HF illness severity and depression. In conclusion, illness intrusiveness may be a better indicator of depression than illness severity (HF symptoms); thus research methods and interventions targeted at reducing illness intrusiveness merit further investigation.

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