Date of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Type

Open Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

First Advisor

Toni Barnett

Abstract

Heart Failure (HF), a debilitating disease, affects 5.7 million people in the United States and there are an additional 600,000 cases each year (Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 2016). Evidence based practice suggests that keeping these patients on a strict fluid restriction can help lessen the symptoms associated with Heart Failure (Albert, 2012). Along with having a fluid restriction often comes an increase in the thirst reported by the patients. In the literature reviewed, there has been very little research on whether a thirst scale has been made or used for patients in heart failure. Research proves that the Thirst Distress Scale (TDS), by Welch, accurately measures thirst distress in hemodialysis patients, who like heart failure patients, are also on fluid restrictions (Welch, 2002). The purpose of this study is to utilize the TDS as a clinical measure in the treatment of Heart Failure patients. By tracking patients scores on the TDS and measuring their body weight in kilograms over a four-week period, the researchers will attempt to determine if there is a correlation between elevated thirst distress scores and weight gain in heart failure patients. This research, in conjunction with the use of the TDS scale, would assist patients and medical staff in identifying, treating and managing thirst distress in heart failure patients.

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