Abstract 12279: What do Patients with Heart Failure Know about Their Condition and Self-Care?
Background: Self-management requires that patients with heart failure (HF) understand the condition and its symptoms, as well as know what steps to take if symptoms worsen. We conducted a prospective, cross-sectional study to identify factors related to HF knowledge, particularly the association between knowledge and HF self-care behaviors.
Methods: 612 patients who were rural-dwelling and hospitalized for HF within the last year were enrolled from multiple U.S. sites. Subjects were mean age 66±13 years, 59% male, 56% married, 85.2% in New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class II or III, and 49.7% with ejection fraction (EF) <40%. They completed 4 questionnaires: a HF Knowledge Scale, a Self Care Scale, the Test of Functional Health Literacy Assessment and the Basic Symptom Inventory. Demographic and clinical characteristics were obtained from self-report and medical records. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Pearson correlation, and multiple linear regression.
Results: The mean percent score on the HF Knowledge Scale was 69.5±13.0, median 70.0%. The following were assessed for potential impact on HF knowledge: age, gender, EF, self care behavior, education, ethnicity, marital status, health literacy, anxiety, NYHA class and specialty of care provider (cardiologist versus non-cardiologist). Only the first 4 factors were significant in the final regression model. On average, females and younger patients scored higher than males and older patients (p = 0.001 and 0.046 respectively). Patients with EF <40% scored higher than those with EF ≥40% (p=.04). Finally, patients with higher total self care behavior scores had higher HF knowledge than those with lower self care behavior scores (p = 0.001).
Conclusions: Youngerage and female gender were associated with better health knowledge. Findings related to EF suggested that patients with systolic HF may receive more education about the disease and self care requirements than those with preserved systolic function. The significant relationship between self care behavior and knowledge was heartening, since the goal of patient education and hospital discharge teaching is to not only increase knowledge but to change patient behavior related to self care.
- © 2010 by American Heart Association, Inc.