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Author Notes:

Corresponding author: Carolyn Miller Reilly, RN, PhD, FAHA (cmill02@emory.edu)., Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, 1520 Clifton Rd, NE #366, Atlanta, GA 30322, Office: 404-727-9658, Fax 404-727-9382

No authors have any disclosures.


Research Funding:

Study Supported by the NIH/ NINR NRSA 5F32 NR010451-02 (C.M. Reilly, PI), Interdisciplinary Pilot Research Grant NIH/NINR P20 NR007798, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number UL1TR00045; and Biosite, Inc. Grant In Aid of equipment and supplies.

The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Cardiac & Cardiovascular Systems
  • Nursing
  • Cardiovascular System & Cardiology
  • Fluid restriction
  • heart failure
  • self-care
  • symptoms
  • thirst
  • SALT

Isolating the benefits of fluid restriction in patients with heart failure: A pilot study


Journal Title:

European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing


Volume 14, Number 6


, Pages 495-505

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Background: Fluid restriction (FR) in persons with heart failure (HF) is often prescribed, yet self-regulation and the troublesome symptom of thirst are difficult for patients to manage. Aims: The purpose of this pilot study was to test an educational and behavioral intervention (EBI) on adherence with prescribed FR and outcome measures of fluid congestion, symptom distress, and health related quality of life (HRQL). Secondary aims were to describe the relationships between self-reported and objectively measured determinants of fluid status and symptoms, and assess the psychometric properties of piloted instruments, and intervention effect sizes. Methods: NYHA Class II-IV (n=25, 44-83 years, 56% male, 20% minority, mean EF 23.0+11.7%) participants were randomized to the EBI or attention control (AC) and evaluated at baseline, 3 and 6 months. Results: EBI patients trended toward decreasing fluid ingestion (p=0.08), experienced less HF symptom frequency (p=0.13) and severity (p=0.06), and increased symptoms of thirst (p < 0.01) across time. Whereas HRQL remained stable in the EBI group, it improved in the AC group over time (p=0.01). There were no significant differences in clinical measures of fluid congestion between groups. Conclusions: These outcomes suggest that patients receiving the EBI drank slightly less fluid, experienced less typical HF symptoms, greater thirst distress and stable HRQOL. Moderate to large effect sizes for the measures used were observed, and outcomes suggest that a randomized trial of various levels of FR would not potentiate fluid congestion but should specifically address preservation of HRQOL and thirst symptoms.

Copyright information:

© 2015 European Society of Cardiology.

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