What are the barriers to self-care and how do nurses help patients overcome these barriers?

Despite advances in therapy, morbidity and mortality remain high in patients hospitalized for heart failure. Although new approaches to improving the use of guideline-recommended evidence-based therapies at hospital discharge are undeniably needed,1 truly comprehensive and competent care for patients hospitalized with heart failure requires a strong focus on education of patients and their families.

Education at discharge is a vital component of improving outcomes in heart failure. The institution of a structured system of patient and family education that involves a multidisciplinary team and emphasizes medication adherence, sodium and fluid restrictions, and recognition of signs and symptoms that indicate progression of disease may be as important as ensuring that patients are prescribed appropriate medical therapy. Specific topics of instruction for patients hospitalized with heart failure are listed in Table 1. Poor adherence to...

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