Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
People living with heart failure (PLHF) should be screened for symptoms at every
healthcare visit since they are 3 times more likely to experience ventricular arrhythmias. This quality improvement project (QIP) compared 3 self-administered HF symptoms questionnaires to determine the best screening tool for a tertiary hospital arrhythmia devices clinic. The instruments included the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire (MLHFQ), the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ), and the Self-Reported Heart Failure Symptoms (SHEFS) questionnaire. For a 30-day period, 76 people were eligible to participate in the QIP, with 55 participants included in the final analysis (72.5% participation). The questionnaires were compared and assessed with the gold standard laboratory test for HF (NT-proBNP) for sensitivity and specificity. For HF, the SHEFS was the most sensitive (83%) compared to the NT-proBNP, but the MLHFQ was most specific (89%). When compared to the MLHFQ as the standard, SHEFS was 71% sensitive, and 73% specific for HF. Similarly, when compared to the KCCQ, the SHEFS was both, 75% specific and sensitive in identifying HF. However, the rate of correlation to a positive or negative NT-proBNP test results was the highest for the SHEFS (87%). All 3 questionnaires were statistically significant in predicting admission to hospital for HF in the past 6 months (p = 0.02 to 0.03). Finally, given the shortest length and simplicity of use, the SHEFS was selected by the stakeholders to be the standard screening tool for the clinic. This project contributes to positive social change by providing the first reported comparison in the literature to implement questionnaires in a clinic to assess symptoms for PLHF attending an arrhythmia devices clinic.