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Crystal W. Cené, Laura Beth Haymore, Feng-Chang Lin, Jeffrey Laux, Christine Delong Jones, Jia-Rong Wu, Darren DeWalt, Mike Pignone, Giselle Corbie-Smith
2015 March
Chronic Illness 11(1): 21-32


OBJECTIVES: To examine the association between frequency of family member accompaniment to medical visits and heart failure (HF) self-care maintenance and management and to determine whether associations are mediated through satisfaction with provider communication. METHODS: Cross-sectional survey of 150 HF patients seen in outpatient clinics. HF self-care maintenance and management were assessed using the Self-Care of Heart Failure Index. Satisfaction with provider communication was assessed using a single question originally included in the American Board of Internal Medicine Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire. Frequency of family member accompaniment to visits was assessed using a single-item question. We performed regression analyses to examine associations between frequency of accompaniment and outcomes. Mediation analysis was conducted using MacKinnon's criteria. RESULTS: Overall, 61% reported accompaniment by family members to some/most/every visit. Accompaniment to some/most/every visit was associated with higher self-care maintenance (β = 6.4, SE 2.5; p = 0.01) and management (β = 12.7, SE 4.9; p = 0.01) scores. Satisfaction with provider communication may mediate the association between greater frequency of accompaniment to visits and self-care maintenance (1.092; p = 0.06) and self-care management (1.428; p = 0.13). DISCUSSION: Accompaniment to medical visits is associated with better HF self-care maintenance and management, and this effect may be mediated through satisfaction with provider communication.