Depression in Congestive Heart Failure Patients: Implications for the Role of the Advance Practice Nurse
Voeller, Diane M.
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Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) affects approximately 5 million people in the United States of America, with an estimated 550,000 new cases diagnosed annually. CHF is the end result of many disease processes of the heart, and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. CHF is a chronic, progressive condition that greatly restricts the patients' daily activities and quality of life (Hunt et aI., 2001). The prevalence of depression in the CHF population has begun to be explored in recent studies, and moderate levels of depressive disorders are seen in CHF patients. Routine depression screening and treatment in CHF patients will be enable advanced nurse practitioners to help their patients experience an improved quality of life, decrease hospital readmissions, and potentially impact patients' long term mortality.