History of the Self-Care of Heart Failure Index (SCHFI, pronounced “skiffy”):  Our work in heart failure self-care began in the 1990s. Our first measurement article, describing the Self-Management of Heart Failure Scale was published in 2000. This tool was lengthy, cumbersome, and prone to scoring errors. In 2004 we published the SCHFI v.4 with 5 maintenance items, 6 management items, and 4 confidence items. Through the years we have modified item and stem wording in minor ways and tested those revisions in our own research. Most revisions were made to the maintenance scale to reflect the evolution in knowledge about heart failure (e.g., weight management, exercise). The management scale items have never changed. The confidence scale was published with 4 items but we have routinely used 6 items (2 addressing maintenance and 4 addressing management) in our research. Thus, with significant experience, we are able to say that none of the different versions has changed the psychometric profile to any significant degree.

The version available here is v.6.2, which was published in 2009. You do not need my permission to use this instrument; it is in the public domain. If you have questions, though, you may contact me at briegel@nursing.upenn.edu.

Version 6.2 reflects the theory of heart failure self-care prior to our recent update (described in Riegel B, Dickson VV, and Faulkner KM. The situation specific theory of heart failure self-care: Revised and updated. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, published ahead of print, 2015). Please see the 2009 article on the instrument for information about reliability, validity, item difficulty, learning effects, social desirability, score adequacy, how much change is clinically relevant, and how to compare scores on prior versions of the SCHFI to those obtained with the new version. The most recent comprehensive psychometric testing was done by Barbaranelli et al (2014). See key references for the full reference.

Note that we are in the process of revising the SCHFI to capture the additional dimension of symptom perception.

  • Dr. Barbara Riegel

    Dr. Barbara Riegal

    Professor and Edith Clemmer Steinbright Chair of Gerontology
    Director, Biobehavioral Research Center
    School of Nursing, Claire M. Fagin Hall
    418 Curie Boulevard
    Philadelphia, PA 19104-4217
    215-898-9927 Phone
    240-282-7707 eFax