Evaluation of educational needs of persons with heart failure

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Nursing


Five million Americans are currently living with heart failure, and the numbers are expected to rise. Optimal self-management of heart failure requires a considerable amount of knowledge in order to make the recommended lifestyle changes and recognize the signs and symptoms of worsening heart failure. Educational interventions are more effective when they are tailored for the individual. The purpose of this study was to identify the information persons with heart failure believed to be most important to learn, as well as whether or not it is realistic to learn the information while hospitalized. A survey tool was administered to 24 hospitalized patients to assess their responses to heart failure topics in seven categories including: anatomy and physiology, psychological factors, risk factors, medication information, diet information, activity, and other pertinent issues. Respondents identified all of the categories as both important and realistic to learn while hospitalized. Medication information and anatomy and physiology of the heart were identified as most important and most realistic to learn, while diet information was believed to be the least important and least realistic to learn. Results support the recommendation that education about heart failure should be done before patients are discharged from the hospital and the need for continued assessment of learning needs. Implications for practice and areas for further research are presented.




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