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Objective: Despite an increasing body of knowledge on self-care in heart failure patients, the need for effective interventions remains. We sought to deepen the understanding of interventions that heart failure nurses use in clinical practice to improve patient adherence to medication and symptom monitoring. Methods: A qualitative study with a directed content analysis was performed, using data from a selected sample of Dutch-speaking heart failure nurses who completed booklets with two vignettes involving medication adherence and symptom recognition. Results: Nurses regularly assess and reassess patients before they decide on an intervention. They evaluate basic/factual information and barriers in a patient's behavior, and try to find room for improvement in a patient's behavior. Interventions that heart failure nurses use to improve adherence to medication and symptom monitoring were grouped into the themes of increasing knowledge, increasing motivation, and providing patients with practical tools. Nurses also described using technology-based tools, increased social support, alternative communication, partnership approaches, and coordination of care to improve adherence to medications and symptom monitoring. Conclusion: Despite a strong focus on educational strategies, nurses also reported other strategies to increase patient adherence. Nurses use several strategies to improve patient adherence that are not incorporated into guidelines. These interventions need to be evaluated for further applications in improving heart failure management


Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

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Journal Article

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