Educational needs of patients with advanced heart failure and their caregivers
At the time of initial transplant evaluation, we evaluated the information and counseling needs of 82 outpatients with advanced heart failure and compared them with the needs of 74 of their caregivers. Both groups answered a 23-item questionnaire, which used a 5-point Likert scale to assess needs across 6 sub-scales specific to heart failure and the process of determining transplant eligibility. The 5 most important learning needs of patients and caregivers were similar, and we found significant differences only in the groups' responses to 3 individual questions. We conclude that nurses can meet the needs of patients and their caregivers by providing honest explanations, focusing on enhanced quality of life issues, and giving information for dealing with an emergency.
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