J Korean Crit Care Nurs.  2019 Feb;12(1):1-12. 10.0000/jkccn.2019.12.1.1.

Symptom Clusters and Quality of Life Changes according to Recovery Period of Patients with Heart Valve Surgery

  • 1Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing, VISION College of Jeonju, Korea.
  • 2Associate Professor, College of Nursing, Research Institute of Nursing Science, Chonbuk National University, Korea. jeonghee@jbnu.ac.kr


It is widely accepted that addressing multiple symptoms together is the preferred approach in assessment and intervention and results in reduced negative patient outcomes. Yet, there are few studies examining symptom clusters and their impacts on quality of life longitudinally in patients after heart valve surgery.
A total of 101 patients were recruited from a tertiary hospital and were administered questionnaires (at 3, 6, and 10 weeks after the surgery) assessing participants' characteristics, cardiac symptoms, and quality of life. Factor analysis was used to identify symptom clusters. Hierarchical multiple linear regression was used to predict quality of life.
Participants were predominantly 70-years old or more with a mean age of 64.34. The two symptom clusters at 3 weeks after the surgery with education, gender, and occupation accounted for 76.3% of variance in quality of life.
Symptom clusters containing various physical and psychological symptoms in patients after the surgery affected quality of life, and the relationship was significant at 3 weeks after the surgery. Because symptom clusters were identified in all three recovery periods, nurses need to acknowledge these clusters, rather than each symptom separately, and to utilize these in providing care and education and in promoting quality of life in these patients.


Heart valves; Postoperative period; Symptom cluster; Quality of life
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