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Pflege. 2008 Apr;21(2):104-13. doi: 10.1024/1012-5302.21.2.104.

[Impact of patient education on self-care behaviour in patients with heart failure: a review of the literature].

[Article in German]

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Institut für Pflegewissenschaft, Universität Basel, Basel, Switzerland.


Heart failure is a highly prevalent chronic condition. Nurse-led patient education has been described in the literature as a key component of disease management programs. This literature review investigates the impact of patient education on self-care behaviour in patients with heart failure. Seven randomised controlled trials could be included in the review. Medication taking, daily weighing, salt and fluid restriction and taking action in case of worsening symptoms are cornerstones in patient education programs. All seven studies revealed that interventions comprising patient education were associated with improved self-care behaviour in patients with heart failure. The education has to be individualized and family members should be included. Nurses play an important role in patient education interventions and must be well trained and skilled for example in clinical assessment. To date, the dose and the length of the patient education interventions necessary to improve self-care behaviour and sustain these behaviours remain unclear and need more research.

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