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Systematic review with meta-analysis
Cognitively impaired patients with heart failure may not perceive weight gain as a risk for decompensation
  1. Ercole Vellone
  1. Department of Biomedicine and Prevention, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Professor Ercole Vellone, Department of Biomedicine and Prevention, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Via Montpellier, 1 – 00133 Rome, Italy; ercole.vellone{at}

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Commentary on: Dolansky MA, Hawkins MA, Schaefer JT, et al. Cognitive function predicts risk for clinically significant weight gain in adults with heart failure. J Cardiovasc Nurs 2016. doi: 10.1097/JCN.0000000000000376. [Epub ahead of print: 2 Nov 2016].

Implications for practice and research

  • Healthcare practitioners should be aware that many patients with heart failure (HF) do not fully recognise the link between weight gain and HF decompensation.

  • Self-care confidence has been found to influence self-care behaviours (including daily weighing in HF) much more than cognition, so future studies should determine whether interventions focused on self-care confidence can also improve patients’ ability to manage weight gain.


HF has a prevalence between 0.5% and 2% in the general population and is associated with poor quality of life, increased hospitalisations and high care costs.1 To counteract the impact of HF, patients need to perform self-care, including daily weighing, as recommended by international guidelines.1 Daily weighing allows for detection of fluid retention that can cause HF decompensation. When the patient has a weight gain ≥2 kg …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.