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J Vasc Nurs. 2005 Mar;23(1):20-4.

Vascular risk management through nurse-led self-management programs.

Author information

1
Department of Vascular Medicine, University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Abstract

In current clinical practice, adequate cardiovascular risk reduction is difficult to achieve. Treatment is primarily focused on clinical vascular disease and not on long-term risk reduction. Pertinent to success in vascular risk reduction are proper medication use, weight control, healthy food choices, smoking cessation, and physical exercise. Atherosclerotic vascular disease and its risk constitute a chronic condition, which poses specific requirements on affected patients and caregivers who should be aware of the chronicity. In patients with vascular disease, there is lack of awareness of their chronic condition because of the invisibility of most risk factors. In other patient groups with chronic illness, self-management programs were successful in achieving behavioral change. This strategy can also be useful for patients with vascular disease to adapt and adhere to an improved lifestyle. Self-management refers to the individual's ability to manage both physical and psychosocial consequences including lifestyle changes inherent to living with a chronic condition. Interventions that promote self-management are based on enhancing self-efficacy. In self-management, attention can be given to what is important and motivational to the individual patient. In this article the challenge of nursing care promoting self-management for patients with vascular risk and how this care can be applied will be explained. Nurses can play a central role in vascular risk management with a self-management approach for patients with chronic vascular disease. In vascular prevention clinics, nursing care can be delivered that includes medical treatment of vascular risks (hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, hyperglycemia, and hyperhomocystinemia) and counseling on promoting self-management (changes in diet, body weight, smoking habits, and level of exercise). Nursing interventions based on self-management promotion can provide a new and promising approach to actually achieve vascular risk reduction.

PMID:
15741961
DOI:
10.1016/j.jvn.2004.12.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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