Παρίσης Ιωάννης, Αναπληρωτής Καθηγητής,Ιατρική Σχολή, ΕΚΠΑ
Μπαμπάτσικου Φωτούλα, Αναπληρώτρια Καθηγήτρια, Τμήμα Νοσηλευτικής, Πανεπιστήμιο Δυτικής Αττικής
Πολυκανδριώτη Μαρία, Αναπληρώτρια Καθηγήτρια, Τμήμα Νοσηλευτικής, Πανεπιστήμιο Δυτικής Αττικής
Recently, Heart Failure has reached proportions of a global epidemic. The existing guidelines tend to use the term heart failure to refer to those patients with an established chronic heart failure. Over time, the understanding of HF has improved significantly both in terms of pathophysiology and provision of therapies that modify the disease. Timely diagnosis is important to optimize evidence-based therapies, which delay mortality and improve symptoms. Primary Health Care and its nurses, through providing a holistic approach of the disease, can play an important role in this regard.
Objectives: The main objective of the present study was to investigate the understanding of heart failure syndrome by nurses working in Primary Health Care structures in Attica and to highlight any educational needs they may have. A secondary objective was to investigate possible associations between the individual demographic and occupational characteristics of the participating nurses and their knowledge of heart failure syndrome.
Material and Methods: A quantitative survey was carried out through the administration of a measuring instrument and more specifically the questionnaire “Nurses’ Knowledge of Heart Failure Education Principles”, Albert et al, 2002. The sample consisted of 108 nurses working in Primary Health Care Structures (Health Centers and Regional Health Units) of the 2nd Piraeus and Aegean Health Region. The data collection began in May 2019 and completed in July 2019.
Results: The study involved 108 nurses, with the typical profile of the participant being a woman, a graduate of Technological Education, with an average professional experience of 12.5 years, working in a Health Center, who did not participate in any educational program and on average responded correctly in 14 out of 20 questions related to heart failure syndrome. Of the total number of questions in each topic, 27.8% answered correctly questions related to diet, 10.3% questions related to liquids or weight, 8.3% questions related to signs or symptoms, 43.5% questions related to medicines and 42.6% to exercise. In addition, there was a statistically significant difference in the mean number of correct answers to questions regarding the nurses’ level of knowledge in the care of heart failure syndrome, depending on whether or not the nurses had participated in an educational programm (p = 0.044).
Conclusions: Accroding to the findings, it seems that there is a greater need for nursing education in the areas of signs/ symptoms, nutrition and fluids/ weight. Furthermore, the only factor that seems to differentiate nurses' level of knowledge about the self-care of patients with heart failure is whether they have received any further training. Therefore, further emphasis should be placed on the development of nursing education programs, so that they are able to provide optimal nursing care to patients suffering from heart failure.
Heart failure, Primary Health Care, Nurse, Heart failure self-care