Efficacy of a home-based educational strategy involving community health volunteers in improving self-care in patients with chronic heart failure in western Iran: A randomized controlled trial

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Journal Article
European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 2016, 15 (5), pp. 363 - 371
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© European Society of Cardiology. Background: This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a home-based educational strategy using community health volunteers (CHVs) in improving self-care of patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) in comparison with an educational strategy using formal health professionals (FHPs) at hospital, and also with a control group receiving usual care in western Iran. Methods and results: A three-arm controlled trial randomly allocated 231 patients with CHF into a control group and two intervention groups undertaking two different educational approaches - a face-to-face education program by CHVs at the patients' homes and a formal education program using paid FHPs at hospital. Data obtained through interviewing patients before and two months after interventions were analyzed. Self-care components significantly increased after the intervention in both interventional groups compared to the control group (p<0.001). Differences between the two strategies were not significant, except for self-care confidence being greater in the groups exposed to the health professionals (p=0.004). The mean and standard deviation (SD) of the changes in self-maintenance, self-management and self- confidence score (each with a maximum score of 100) for the CHVs group were 26.2±12.7, 29.4±11 9.5±17; for the health professional group were 29.5±12, 31.3±12, 18.1±17; and for the control group were 2.7±9, 10.2±10, -0.30±11 respectively. Conclusion: The home-based face-to-face education by CHVs improved self-care maintenance and self-care management in patients with CHF as effectively as the education provided by health professionals in a formal health education program, and much better than the usual care.
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