Background: Research has indicated that sleep disorders reduce the quality of life of heart failure patients. Objectives: To investigate quality of sleep, and the impact of poor sleep on quality of life among elderly versus younger heart failure patients. Design: A two-group, cross-sectional study. Setting: A community teaching hospital in Taipei, Taiwan. Participants: Voluntarily self-enrolled heart failure patients who did not have sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome. Methods: There were126 elderly and 67 young participants filled out five questionnaires (1) demographic information and current health status; (2) the Chinese Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index; (3) the Chinese Epworth Sleepiness Scale, and (4) the short form (SF)-36 Taiwanese version. The major statistical procedures applied in this study were t-test, analysis of variance, Pearson's correlation, and a stepwise multiple linear regression. A p-value of 2=0.23) and physical components (R2=0.21) of quality of life. In the young group, nocturnal dyspnea was a significant determinant of the mental component of quality of life (R2=0.15), and early wake-up was a significant determinant of the physical component of quality of life (R2=0.15). Conclusion: The sleep disorder of heart failure patients is disease-specific rather than a matter of age. The prevalence of insomnia of young heart failure patients was higher than that of the healthy elderly. The major determinants of poor night sleep quality in the elderly group were dyspnea and long sleep latency, and in the younger group, these were dyspnea and early wake-up. Those also were significant determinants of quality of life of the heart failure patients. Implications for nursing practice: Since the sleep-related predictors of quality of life were different in the elderly versus younger heart failure patients, to identify the insomnia factors individually and to provide guidance of appropriate usage of sleep medications and other methods to promote sleep should be considered.
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