The Experience of Living with Congestive Heart Failure: A Phenomenological Study
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a chronic, progressive disease with many symptoms and poor prognosis. Each year, millions of people must adjust to new physical limitations and make permanent changes in their lives affecting their diet, sleep, and medication regimen. Major factors that affect people with CHF that were researched and discussed in a review of literature include the following: fatigue, exercise, social support, and education. This phenomenological research project was designed to learn more about, and understand, the lived experience of people with CHF. Data were collected through interviews with four participants from Montana. The interviews were tape recorded and then transcribed. Colaizzi’s Method was used to analyze the data collected. Two of the four participants validated the results of their respective interviews. Six main themes arose among all of the participants. These themes were as follows: tolerating symptoms, losing independence, coping with life’s stressors, managing medications, worrying about money, and disregarding fluid and salt restrictions. The results of the data collected can help people better understand what patients with CHF experience, as well as identify how nurses can aid clients in maintaining/reaching a better quality of life.