[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Patients with heart failure (HF) need long-term and complex care delivered by healthcare professionals in primary and secondary care. Although guidelines on optimal HF care exist, no specific description of components that are applied for optimal HF care at home exist. The objective of this review was to describe which components of HF (home) care are found in research studies addressing homecare interventions in the HF population. METHODS: The Pubmed, Embase, Cinahl, and Cochrane databases were searched using HF-, homecare services-, and clinical trial-related search terms. RESULTS: The literature search identified 703 potentially relevant publications, out of which 70 articles were included. All articles described interventions with two or more of the following components: multidisciplinary team, continuity of care and care plans, optimized treatment according to guidelines, educational and counselling of patients and caregivers, and increased accessibility to care. Most studies (n=65, 93%) tested interventions with three components or more and 20 studies (29%) used interventions including all five components. CONCLUSIONS: There a several studies on HF care at home, testing interventions with a variety in number of components. Comparing the results to current standards, aspects such as collaboration between primary care and hospital care, titration of medication, and patient education can be improved.
European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing 06/2012; · 2.04 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Arrhythmias can appear with a variety of symptoms, all from vague to pronounced and handicapping symptoms. Therefore, patient-reported outcomes (PROs) concerning symptom burden are important to assess and take into consideration in the care and treatment of patients with arrhythmias. The main purpose was to develop and validate a disease-specific questionnaire evaluating symptom burden in patients with different forms of arrhythmias.
A literature review was conducted and arrhythmia patients were interviewed. Identified symptoms were evaluated by an expert panel consisting of cardiologists and nurses working daily with arrhythmia patients. SF-36 and Symptoms Checklist (SCL) were used in the validation of the new questionnaire Arrhythmia-Specific questionnaire in Tachycardia and Arrhythmia (ASTA). Homogeneity was evaluated with Spearman's correlations and Cronbach's alpha coefficient (α) was used to evaluate internal consistency. Construct validity was evaluated using item-total correlations and convergent and discriminant validity. For this, Spearman's correlations were calculated between the ASTA symptom scale, SCL and SF-36. Concurrent validity was validated by Spearman's correlations between the ASTA symptom scale and SCL.
The correlations between the different items in the ASTA symptom scale showed generally sufficient homogeneity. Cronbach's coefficient was found to be satisfactory (α = 0.80; lower bound 95% CI for α = 0.76). Construct validity was supported by item-total correlations where all items in the symptom scale were sufficiently correlated (≥0.3). Convergent and discriminant validity was supported by the higher correlations to the arrhythmia-specific SCL compared to the generic SF-36. Concurrent validity was evaluated and there were sufficiently, but not extremely strong correlations found between the ASTA symptom scale and SCL.
The nine items of the ASTA symptom scale were found to have good psychometric properties in patients with different forms of arrhythmias. Arrhythmia patients suffer from both frequent and disabling symptoms. The validated ASTA questionnaire can be an important contribution to PROs regarding symptom burden in arrhythmia patients.
Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 04/2012; 10:44. · 2.27 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Optimal outcomes and quality of life for patients with heart failure depend on engagement in effective self-care activities. Self-care is a complex set of activities and most clinicians are not adequately prepared to assist their patients to engage in effective self-care. In this paper, we provide an overview of self-care that includes definitions, the importance of self-care to outcomes, the physiologic basis for better outcomes with good self-care, cultural perspectives of self-care, and recommendations for the improvement of self-care. Promotion of effective self-care by all clinicians could substantially reduce the economic and personal burden of repeated rehospitalizations among patients with heart failure.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigated the level of knowledge of hematological management of patients with Eisenmenger syndrome among general cardiovascular nurses and nurses who specialize in congenital heart disease (CHD).
We conducted a survey at two international conferences attended by cardiovascular nurses. Nurses were asked to complete a questionnaire comprising two questions and three clinical case scenarios. Overall, 89 nurses participated (response rate 90.8%), 43 of whom specialized in CHD.
The level of knowledge displayed among cardiovascular nurses is poor. About one-third of nurses not specialized in CHD recognized the definition of Eisenmenger syndrome and knew what normal hematocrit levels are. With respect to the cases presented, less than 10% of the nurses could give a correct answer. The level of knowledge of specialized nurses was significantly higher, but also here, important gaps in the level of knowledge could be observed. Less than two-thirds knew the reference values of hematocrit and knew the appropriate management in two cases. Less than half of the specialized nurses knew about the procedure of isovolumic phlebotomy.
The level of knowledge displayed by cardiovascular nurses regarding the hematological management of patients with Eisenmenger syndrome is poor. Also the knowledge of nurses specialized in CHD could be improved.
European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing 07/2009; 8(4):246-50. · 2.04 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recommendations for the management of adults with congenital heart disease indicate that specialist referral centres should employ nurse specialists who are trained and educated in the care for these patients. We surveyed the involvement, education and activities of nurse specialists in the care for adults with congenital cardiac anomalies in Europe.
The Euro Heart Survey on Adult Congenital Heart Disease has previously showed that 20 out of 48 specialist centres (42%) have nurse specialists affiliated with their programme. Fifteen of these 20 centres (75%) validly completed a web-based survey tool.
Specialist centres had a median number of 2 nurse specialists on staff, corresponding with 1 full-time equivalent. In most centres, the nurse specialists were also affiliated with other cardiac care programmes, in addition to congenital heart disease. The involvement of nurse specialists was not related to the caseload of inpatients and outpatient visits. Physical examination was the most prevalent activity undertaken by nurse specialists (93.3%), followed by telephone accessibility (86.7%), patient education (86.7%), co-ordination of care (73.3%), and follow-up after discharge (73.3%). Patient education covered mainly prevention and prophylaxis of endocarditis (100%), cardiovascular risk factors (92.3%), sport activities (92.3%), the type and characteristics of the heart defect (92.3%), the definition and aetiology of endocarditis (84.6%), cardiac risk in case of pregnancy (84.6%), and heredity (84.6%). Two third of the nurse specialists were involved in research.
This survey revealed gaps in the provision of care for these patients in Europe and demonstrated that there is room for improvement in order to provide adequate chronic disease management. The results of this study can be used by individual hospitals for benchmarking.
European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing 04/2006; 5(1):60-7. · 2.04 Impact Factor