A Healthier Wisconsin

Illness Perceptions in Congestive Heart Failure

Developing protocols to improve physical activity in patients recovering from congestive heart failure

Full Project Name:Illness Perceptions in Congestive Heart FailurePrincipal Investigator:Nunzio Gaglianello, MD, MedicineCo-Investigator:David Nelson, PhD, Family and Community MedicineAward Amount:$200,000.00
Award Date
Project Duration:24 months

Project Description Narrative:

Congestive heart failure (CHF) afflicts 5.8 million individuals in the U.S., and accounts for 1 million hospitalizations each year. In addition, CHF accounts for major morbidity, reduced quality of life, and greater healthcare costs for a significant portion of the U.S. and Wisconsin.

There is strong evidence that managing CHF with light- and moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity can result in increased length and health-related quality of life. However, patient adherence to recommended physical activity is very low. On average, fewer than 10 percent of CHF patients achieve physician recommended goals to engage in regular exercise to relieve symptoms. There is also evidence that less than half of CHF patients who have enrolled in clinical trials to use exercise as an intervention for managing their condition achieve the target goals for activity within the rigorous structure of the trial.

Through this project, investigators aim to develop protocols to improve planning, monitoring and adherence for physical activity in patients recovering from congestive heart failure (CHF).

Outcomes & Lessons Learned:

  • Developed and tested a prototype education and instruction manual to impact physical activity for patients and decison making for providers
  • Documented findings that identified unexpected discrepancies between health care providers, patients, and patient families that warrant further study, with the goal to optimize patient engagement in physical activity
  • Began preparing three manuscripts to publish results
  • Leveraged additional funding to support student research experiences in this project
  • Published three manuscripts and have three more in press
  • Conducted seven poster presentations and one oral presentation at local and national conferences to share knowledge from this project

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