Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Theresa Beckie, Ph.D.


BNP, Quality of Life, Congestive heart failure, Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire, Heart failure


Previous research on quality of life (QOL) and its relation to BNP levels in heart failure (HF) has been widely studied. However, the impact of physicians' knowledge of BNP levels at time of clinic visit on QOL and hospital length of stay (LOS) has yet to be fully investigated. The purpose of this study were to determine if physicians' knowledge of BNP levels affected a change in QOL scores at 90 days and reduce hospital length of stay among heart failure patients. QOL data from HF clinic patients (N = 108, 67.5 ± 12.3, 56% male, ejection fraction 26.5 ± 8.2) were analyzed. QOL was measured at time of clinic visit (T1) and at 90 days (T2) using the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire (MLHFQ). An independent t-test was utilized to compare the two groups. Findings: Both groups were comparable regarding demographic and baseline characteristics.

There was no significant association observed between the experimental and control group at 90 days, although the data indicated a decrease in the mean QOL scores at 90 days (37.46 ± 28.67) as compared to the mean QOL scores at baseline (46.87 ± 29.63) for both groups. Because the QOL scale is reversed, this indicated that there was a positive change in QOL scores during the 90 day time interval. Hospital LOS was similar for both groups (mean=3 days). BNP levels were significantly correlated with both baseline QOL scores (r=.25, p=.01) and physical subscale scores (r=.24, p=.01). Mortality was higher in the control when compared to the experimental group (t=1.99, df=90, p=.04). Conclusion: While physicians' awareness of BNP levels had not shown a significant change in QOL at 90 days, patients' QOL might already have been quite positive. Chronic HF patients may have adapted to their disease and have adjusted their perception of their QOL.

Therefore, QOL may be a stable construct at this time. Findings may have been different on newly diagnosed HF patients since they may not have adapted to their health condition.