Learning for heart failure patients (the L-HF patient study)

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Aim and objective: To investigate the learning style and preferences for information delivery of heart failure patients for the purpose of informing the design of educational resources. Background: Patient education is a vital component of heart failure management programmes however the content and delivery of education varies in each programme. Traditionally education programmes for patients have focussed on educational needs as identified by health care providers however research has shown there are discrepancies between patients’ and nurses’ perceptions of the learning needs of heart failure patients. There is no evidence that educational programmes for heart failure patients are based on identification of patients learning needs or their preferred learning style. Design: Qualitative. Method: A purposive sample of 12 participants, diagnosed with heart failure and enrolled in a heart failure management programme, participated in semi-structured interviews. Results: Four themes emerged: knowledge quest (L-loading), barriers to learning (L-inhibitors), facilitators for learning (L-agonists), and meeting educational needs (L-titration). Integral to these themes was the participant’s relationship with health care professionals. Conclusion: This study provides unique information regarding the preferred learning modality of heart failure patients and, as such, serves to inform the development of appropriate education resources specifically tailored for this population. Relevance to clinical practice: The development of effective modes of education is likely to further enhance heart failure management programmes service organisation and delivery and improve health outcomes for heart failure patients.

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Journal Article

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