Sleep disturbances in patients with chronic heart failure and their holistic consequences-what different care actions can be implemented?

Anders Broström, Peter Johansson
European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing 2005, 4 (3): 183-97

BACKGROUND: Sleep disturbances are prevalent among elderly, especially among those with chronic heart failure (CHF) and can affect all dimensions of quality of life (QOL) negatively.

AIM: To describe the most common causes leading to sleep disturbances in patients with CHF, their consequences from a holistic perspective and different care actions that can be implemented.

METHODS: MEDLINE and CINAHL databases were searched from 1989 to July 2004.

FINDINGS: Sleep disordered breathing (SDB), and insomnia were the most common causes for sleep disturbances and occurs in 45--82% (SDB) and one-third (insomnia) of all patients with CHF. SDB cause a disturbed sleep structure with frequent awakenings, as well as several adverse effects on the cardiovascular system causing increased morbidity and mortality. Insomnia, caused by anxiety, an unknown life situation in relation to the debut of CHF, or symptoms/deteriorations of CHF can lead to negative effects on all aspects of QOL, as well as daytime sleepiness.

CONCLUSION: The high prevalence of sleep disturbances and their holistic consequences should be taken into account when nurses asses and plan the care for patients with CHF. Randomized studies with large sample sizes evaluating non-pharmacological nursing interventions that improve sleep are needed.

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