What is your patient's cognitive profile? Three distinct subgroups of cognitive function in persons with heart failure

Misty A.W. Hawkins, Julie T. Schaefer, John Gunstad, Mary A. Dolansky, Joseph D. Redle, Richard Josephson, Shirley M. Moore, Joel W. Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine whether patients with heart failure (HF) have distinct profiles of cognitive impairment. Background: Cognitive impairment is common in HF. Recent work found three cognitive profiles in HF patients-(1) intact, (2) impaired, and (3) memory-impaired. We examined the reproducibility of these profiles and clarified mechanisms. Methods: HF patients (68.6. ±. 9.7. years; N=. 329) completed neuropsychological testing. Composite scores were created for cognitive domains and used to identify clusters via agglomerative-hierarchical cluster analysis. Results: A 3-cluster solution emerged. Cluster 1 (. n=. 109) had intact cognition. Cluster 2 (. n=. 123) was impaired across all domains. Cluster 3 (. n=. 97) had impaired memory only. Clusters differed in age, race, education, SES, IQ, BMI, and diabetes (. ps. ≤. .026) but not in mood, anxiety, cardiovascular, or pulmonary disease (. ps. ≥. .118). Conclusions: We replicated three distinct patterns of cognitive function in persons with HF. These profiles may help providers offer tailored care to patients with different cognitive and clinical needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-191
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Nursing Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015
Externally publishedYes



  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cluster analysis
  • Cognitive profiles
  • Neuropsychological performance
  • Older adults

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