Vital exhaustion in chronic heart failure: Symptom profiles and clinical outcome.

O. Smith, Yori Gidron, N. Kupper, J. Winter, J. Denollet

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43 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the components of vital exhaustion (VE) in chronic heart failure (CHF) patients and to examine whether psychological symptom profiles based on these components are differently associated with health status and cardiac rehospitalization. Methods: Consecutive CHF patients (N=381) were assessed for VE at baseline using the Maastricht Questionnaire and assessed for health status at 6-month follow-up using the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire. Information on cardiac rehospitalization was obtained from the patients' medical records. Results: Principal component analysis revealed four essential features of VE: fatigue, cognitive-affective depressive symptoms, sleep difficulties, and lack of concentration. Latent class cluster analysis using these components identified three subgroups with different symptom profiles: a subgroup without VE, a first vitally exhausted subgroup (VE1; fatigue and lack of concentration, but with a relative absence of cognitive-affective depressive symptoms and sleep difficulties), and a second more severe, vitally exhausted subgroup (VE2; elevated levels of all components). Both vitally exhausted subgroups were more likely to have impaired health Status (VE1: beta=.36, P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-201
Number of pages7
JournalJ Psychosom Res
Issue numberMarch
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Vital exhaustion
  • Chronic heart failure
  • Symptom profiles
  • Fatigue
  • Depression


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