Background: A key component of the structured approach to the management of chronic heart failure (CHF) is effective patient education. Patient education is a precursor to performing appropriate health-related behaviours that can decrease rehospitalizations.
Aim: To pilot test an educational intervention and to determine the efficacy of a self-care manual combined with a DVD for patients with CHF. Outcomes of interest included heart failure-related knowledge and self-care behaviours.
Methods: This pilot study enrolled a sample of 38 patients with CHF. A pre-test/post-test design was conducted to assess changes in knowledge and self-care abilities. Knowledge was assessed with the Dutch Heart Failure Knowledge Scale and self-care behaviours were assessed using the Self-Care of Heart Failure Index.
Results: Of the 38 participants 71% were male, 50% were aged between 65 and 74 years, and 31.6% had not completed Year 10 education. There was a statistically significantly difference in the pre- and post-test scores for knowledge (p < 0.0001). Self-care showed positive improvement between pre- and post-test scores; maintenance (p = 0.027), management (p < 0.0001) and confidence (p = 0.051).
Conclusion: This pilot study has indicated that a patient-centred self-care manual combined with a DVD is beneficial and is associated with an improvement in patients’ knowledge and self-care abilities.
Practice implications: Healthcare professionals should utilize multimedia educational resources specifically designed to meet the learning needs of patients with CHF.