Public health
General public awareness of heart failure: results of questionnaire survey during Heart Failure Awareness Day 2011
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Submission date: 2013-09-02
Final revision date: 2013-12-20
Acceptance date: 2013-12-20
Online publication date: 2014-05-13
Publication date: 2014-04-30
Arch Med Sci 2014;10(2):355–360
Introduction: General public views about heart failure (HF) alone and in comparison with other chronic conditions are largely unknown; thus we conducted this survey to evaluate general public awareness about HF and HF disease burden relative to common chronic disease.
Material and methods: This was a cross-sectional survey during European Heart Failure Awareness Day 2011. People visiting the stands and other activities in 12 Slovenian cities were invited to complete a 14-item questionnaire.
Results: The analysis included 850 subjects (age 56 ±15 years, 44% men, 55% completed secondary education or higher). Overall, 83% reported to have heard about HF, 58% knew someone with HF, and 35% believed that HF is a normal consequence of ageing. When compared to other chronic diseases, HF was perceived as less important than cancer, myocardial infarction, stroke and diabetes with only 6%, 12%, 7%, and 5% of subjects ranking HF as number 1 in terms of prevalence, cost, quality of life, and survival. A typical patient with HF symptoms was recognized by 30%, which was comparable to the description of myocardial ischemia (33%) and stroke (39%). Primary care physicians (53%) or specialists (52%) would be primary sources of information about HF. If experiencing HF, 83% would prefer their care to be focused on quality of life rather than on survival (14%).
Conclusions: Many participants reported to have heard about heart failure but the knowledge was poor and with several misbeliefs. Heart failure was perceived as less important than several other chronic diseases, where cancer appears as a main concern among the general public.