PURPOSE: Patients with an LVAD face unique burdens in LVAD self-care (device management) in addition to heart failure (HF) self-care (diet, exercise, medications). We evaluated the impact of health literacy and social support on self-efficacy regarding self-care, and evaluated change in self-efficacy. METHODS: Patients at 9 centers enrolled in the study within 30 days prior to LVAD implantation. Assessments were at baseline and 3 and 6 months post-LVAD. Self-efficacy regarding HF self-care (13 items) and Self-efficacy regarding VAD self-care (12 items) used a 4-point scale: 1=not sure at all, 4=very sure of performing self-care activities. Health Literacy Assessment Using Talking Touchscreen Technology (10 items) was dichotomized as inadequate/low vs. adequate/high. Social support (emotional, instrumental, informational) was measured with PROMIS v2.0 (T-score of 50=general population mean). Participants who died, were transplanted, or were withdrawn before 6 months were excluded from analysis. Linear mixed effects models were estimated using all available longitudinal data, assuming a missing at random mechanism. RESULTS: The sample (n=126) was primarily male (72%), non-Hispanic White (62%) and had high health literacy (67%); mean (SD) age was 55 (11.7) years. Excluded participants (n=68) were similar on most variables (p>0.05). Emotional, instrumental and informational social support were substantially higher than the general population (mean (SD): 58 (7.6), 61 (6.4), 59 (8.7)) and positively associated with HF self-care efficacy and LVAD self-care efficacy (parameter estimates: 0.01-0.02; p<0.001). Health literacy was not associated with self-efficacy (p>0.05). Self-efficacy regarding HF self-care and VAD self-care were high and did not change over time (p>0.05): least-squares means (adjusted for social support and health literacy) at all assessments were 3.7 to 3.9. CONCLUSION: Social support was high and positively associated with higher self-efficacy regarding HF and VAD self-care. Strong social support might mitigate the impact of other risk factors, including low health literacy, on self-efficacy. More research is needed to understand these factors in a more diverse patient group.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine