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J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2007 Sep-Oct;22(5):382-9.

Weight and symptom diary for self-monitoring in heart failure clinic patients.

Author information

1
School of Nursing, Memorial University, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. eastwoodcathy@yahoo.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

For people with chronic heart failure, self-monitoring has been linked with improved body awareness and better communication with health professionals. Cognitive theory and the concept of somatic awareness help explain self-monitoring behaviors. This study compares the clinical and hospital outcomes of heart failure patients who are using and not using a diary to record weight, vital signs and, symptoms and evaluates the diary format.

METHODS:

All patients enrolling in an outpatient heart failure clinic were given a Heart Health Diary. Seventy patients used the diary and 54 did not. A review of these 124 patients (82 men and 42 women) was completed 6 months after enrollment.

RESULTS:

Diary nonusers were more likely to be younger women with a lower ejection fraction and worse functional status. Those using a diary had 35% and 47% more contacts via telephone and clinic, respectively. Both groups had significant functional and B-type natriuretic peptide improvement. If hospitalized after enrollment in the heart failure clinic, average length of stay for all hospital admissions for diary users decreased by 58% (P < .002) and average cost per case decreased by 56% (P < .011). Length of stay and cost per case did not significantly change for those not using diaries.

CONCLUSION:

Diary users showed evidence of improved clinical and hospital outcomes. Further investigation is needed to clarify the characteristics of a diary user and the effect of diary use on self-management and outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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