Context matters in heart failure self-care: a qualitative systematic review

Patricia H. Strachan, Kay Currie, Karen Harkness, Melisa Spaling, Alexander M. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to identify the main contextual factors and processes that influence patients’ self-care of heart failure (HF). A systematic review was conducted using qualitative meta-synthesis. Ten databases were searched until March 19, 2012. Of the 1421 papers identified by the systematic search, 45 studies were included in this meta-synthesis. To be included studies had to contain a qualitative research component, data pertaining to self-care of HF from adults (18+) and be published as full papers/theses from 1995 onwards. These studies involved: 1,398 patients (mean age 65.9 years), 180 caregivers and 63 health professionals. Six main types of contextual factors were found to influence HF self-care in the studies: caregivers, social networks and social support, place, finances and financial capacity, work and occupation, and HF support groups and programs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)448-455
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cardiac Failure
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


  • heart failure
  • self-care
  • nursing research
  • cardiac care


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