State of the science: Promoting self-care in persons with heart failure: A scientific statement from the american heart association

Published on Sep 22, 2009in Circulation23.603
· DOI :10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.192628
Barbara Riegel107
Estimated H-index: 107
(AHA: American Heart Association),
Debra K. Moser97
Estimated H-index: 97
(AHA: American Heart Association)
+ 11 AuthorsDavid J. Whellan66
Estimated H-index: 66
(AHA: American Heart Association)
Self-care is advocated as a method of improving outcomes from heart failure (HF), the final common pathway for several prevalent illnesses, including hypertension and coronary artery disease. HF is widespread in aging populations across the world.1 The burden of HF is manifested in poor quality of life (QOL)2,3 and early mortality.4 In addition, there are >3 million ambulatory care and emergency department visits5 and well over 1 million hospitalizations for HF in the United States annually,6 which contributes to the exorbitant costs associated with HF. Much of this healthcare utilization is thought to be preventable if patients engage in consistent self-care.7,8 This scientific statement seeks to highlight concepts and evidence important to the understanding and promotion of self-care in persons with HF. Specifically, the document describes what is known about (1) the self-care behaviors required of HF patients, (2) factors that make self-care challenging for patients, (3) interventions that promote self-care, and (4) the effect of self-care on HF outcomes. The review ends with evidence-based recommendations for clinicians and direction for future research. Self-care is defined as a naturalistic decision-making process that patients use in the choice of behaviors that maintain physiological stability (symptom monitoring and treatment adherence) and the response to symptoms when they occur.9 The term naturalistic decision making is used to describe how people make decisions in real-world settings. Naturalistic decision makers focus on process rather than outcomes, make decisions based on the situation, let the context influence their decision-making processes, and base practical decisions on the information available at the moment.10 In HF, self-care maintenance requires following the advice of providers to take medications, eat a low-sodium diet, exercise, engage in preventive behaviors, and actively monitor themselves for signs and symptoms. Self-care management refers to decision making in …
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