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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 36-40

Assessment of thirst intensity and thirst distress and the practices for its management among heart failure patients admitted to the cardiology unit


1 Cardiological/CTVS Nursing, College of Nursing, AIIMS, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Cardiology, AIIMS, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Karuna Thapa
Masjid Moth, Hostel No. 15, AIIMS Campus, New Delhi
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jpcs.jpcs_8_21

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Background: Thirst is reported as a troublesome symptom in patients with heart failure (HF), and very few studies have been done to assess thirst in these patients. Therefore, this study aims to assess thirst intensity, thirst distress, and practices of HF patients to manage thirst. Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted on 75 HF patients admitted to the cardiology department. Purposive sampling technique was used for collecting data from July 2019 to November 2019. Visual analog scale (0–100 mm) was used to assess thirst intensity, and 8-item thirst distress scale was used to assess thirst distress. The practices of the participants were assessed using a self-developed questionnaire. Results: The mean age of the participants was 44.83 ± 15.51 years and the majority (72%) was male. The majority of the participants (82.7%) had fluid restriction, and almost 97.3% of all of the participants were receiving diuretics. The median (interquartile range) thirst intensity was 33 (16–50) mm. About 66.7% of the participants had moderate-to-severe thirst distress. Both thirst intensity and thirst distress were associated with fluid restriction, New York Heart Association functional class, and serum urea level. The participants reported that they drink a small amount of water frequently, gargle with water, eat cucumber, drink buttermilk, lemon juice, and coconut water. Very few participants had made changes in their food habits and lifestyle. Conclusion: Two-thirds of the participants had moderate-to-severe thirst distress. Fluid restriction was associated with both thirst intensity and thirst distress. Thus, nurses are responsible to assess thirst among HF patients and help them to manage their thirst effectively.


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