Selecting symptom instruments for cardiovascular populations

Lani Zimmerman, Bunny Pozehl, Karen Vuckovic, Susan Barnason, Paula Schulz, Yaewon Seo, Catherine J. Ryan, Julie J. Zerwic, Holli A. DeVon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The purpose of this review is to provide a guide for researchers and clinicians in selecting an instrument to measure four commonly occurring symptoms (dyspnea, chest pain, palpitations, and fatigue) in cardiac populations (acute coronary syndrome, heart failure, arrhythmia/atrial fibrillation, and angina, or patients undergoing cardiac interventions). An integrative review of the literature was conducted. A total of 102 studies summarizing information on 36 different instruments are reported in this integrative review. The majority of the instruments measured multiple symptoms and were used for one population. A majority of the symptom measures were disease-specific and were multi-dimensional. This review summarizes the psychometrics and defining characteristics of instruments to measure the four commonly occurring symptoms in cardiac populations. Simple, psychometrically strong instruments do exist and should be considered for use; however, there is less evidence of responsiveness to change over time for the majority of instruments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-496
Number of pages22
JournalHeart and Lung
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Cardiovascular populations
  • Defining characteristics
  • Instruments
  • Psychometric properties
  • Symptom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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