Self-care behaviors among patients with heart failure.

College of Nursing, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA.
Heart and Lung The Journal of Acute and Critical Care (Impact Factor: 1.4). 05/2002; 31(3):161-72. DOI:10.1067/mhl.2002.123672
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT One way to prevent frequent hospitalizations and promote positive health outcomes among patients with heart failure (HF) is to ensure that the amount and quality of self-care used is appropriate to the patient's situation.
The following are the purposes of this study: (a) examine the frequency of performance of self-care behaviors, (b) describe personal and environmental factors (basic conditioning factors [BCFs]) that affect self-care behaviors, and (c) describe the relationship between the level of knowledge patients have to empower their performance of self-care and the actual performance of self-care behaviors.
This descriptive correlational study was guided by Orem's theory of self-care. One hundred ten participants, predominantly African Americans, who were outpatients or inpatients ready for hospital discharge, 18 years or older, and diagnosed with HF that was confirmed by an ejection fraction of 40% or less were conveniently selected from 1 of 2 sites. Data were collected with 2 investigator-developed instruments: the Revised Heart Failure Self-Care Behavior Scale and the Heart Failure Knowledge Test. Descriptive statistics, correlational analyses, and t tests for independent samples were used to analyze the data.
Three of the top 5 most frequently performed self-care behaviors were related to taking prescribed medications, and the 5 least frequently performed self-care behaviors were concerned with symptom monitoring or management. There were no significant relationships between the total self-care behavior score and any of the BCFs; however, a number of significant relationships between BCFs and individual self-care behaviors were observed. There was a significant relationship between the mean total knowledge score and the total mean self-care score (r = 0.21, P =.026).
Detailed information about the influence of BCFs on the performance of specific HF self-care behaviors can help nurses tailor interventions to the patient's situation.

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Nancy T Artinian