PURPOSE: Self care is important in better management of congestive heart failure (CHF). Patient knowledge of self care and understanding of CHF have not been well known.
METHODS: Eighty-seven consecutive CHF patients with mean follow-up duration of 26 (SD 5) months were investigated. Patients were interviewed using open ended and prompted questions on CHF and CHF related self care. All clinical events, presentations of symptoms and signs of CHF, including hospitalizations, for prior 36 months were assessed by two expert cardiologists.
RESULTS: Patient average age was 72 (SD 11). 51 patients (59%) were women: 58% had high school education or higher, 48% had at least one clinical event in the last 3 years with median 2 events per patient. 87% were aware of their diagnosis. 86% had heard the word CHF. Only 51% knew the meaning of CHF. 60% knew typical symptoms and signs of CHF. When openly questioned about salt and fluid restriction and daily weight checks, 90% understood the necessity of salt restriction, 84% fluid restriction, and 90% daily weighing. For prompt reply questions, 93%, 85%, and 90% felt salt and fluid restriction, and daily weighing are as important as medication in management of CHF, respectively. 77% and 62% of patients tried salt restriction and fluid restriction, respectively. 28% of patients found salt restriction difficult. 66% found it impossible to restrict fluid intake. 98% owned a scale. Only 58% weigh themselves daily. 99% knew importance of medication and 98% take medication. The questionnaire on knowledge of CHF score revealed 51% of patients with at least one clinical event had no knowledge and understanding of CHF.
CONCLUSION: Patients with CHF need a better understanding and knowledge of CHF and self care in the management of CHF.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: These results can be useful to further educate patients for self care activities in better management of CHF.
DISCLOSURE: Nobuyuki Anzai, None.