The impact of psychological distress on the quality of life of heart failure patients in Saudi Arabia: Evidence from a systematised literature review

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Abstract Introduction: Heart failure (HF) is prevalent across the world. Despite the significant progress made in HF management, the psychological distress associated with the syndrome has been reported to be associated with negative health outcomes. This systematised review aims to review the published literature about psychological distress in HF patients. Methods: A detailed literature search was performed between the 9th and 20th March 2020. The key databases searched included: PubMed, Medline, PsycINFO, CIHNAL, and Science-Direct. The articles were screened and assessed for suitability using the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) quality assessment tool. The chosen studies were grouped and synthesised using a thematic approach. Results: Following a detailed and comprehensive screening process, a total of 14 papers were included within the review. Quantitative, cross sectional, longitudinal and observational studies were included. From reviewing the studies, four key themes emerged: 1) Types of psychological distress among HF patients, e.g. anxiety, depression. 2) Factors associated with psychological distress. 3) Depression, mortality, and readmission rates. 4 Quality of life in relation to the clinical outcomes, psychological distress, individual patient’s characteristics. The results were consistent and depression was shown to have a more serious impact on HF patients. Conclusion: Psychological distress in HF can negatively impact quality of life. From the detailed and comprehensive search strategy, no studies have been conducted in Saudi Arabia that explore these variables specifically.