A conceptual model of cognitive deficits in chronic heart failure

Susan J. Bennett, Mary Jane Sauvé, Rose Mary Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Scopus citations


Purpose: To describe a conceptual model to guide studies of cognitive deficits among patients with heart failure. Organizing Framework: The conceptual framework of cognitive deficits in chronic heart failure is based on theoretical and empirical literature about (a) the pathophysiology of heart failure, (b) the pathophysiology of cognitive deficits, and (c) health-related quality of life. Other variables that may cause or contribute to cognitive deficits include age, the relative contributions of multiple comorbid conditions, hypertension, and depressive symptoms. Covariates that might influence cognitive deficits (medications, gender, and education) are also included in the model. The most prominent cognitive deficits are believed to occur in domains of attention, working memory, memory, learning, executive function, and psychomotor speed. The main outcome variable is health-related quality of life, which is believed to be influenced by circulatory insufficiency and cognitive deficits. Conclusions: The conceptual model described in this paper is a framework for testing cognitive deficits that occur in heart failure. After validation through empirical testing, the model may be useful in developing interventions for patients with heart failure whose care is complicated by cognitive deficits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-228
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nursing Scholarship
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2005


  • Cognitive deficits
  • Conceptual model development
  • Heart failure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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