Effect of a self-care educational intervention to improve self-care adherence among patients with chronic heart failure: a clustered randomized controlled trial in Northwest Ethiopia

BioMed Central
Publication Type:
Journal Article
BMC Cardiovascular Disorders, 2021, 21, (1)
Issue Date:
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Background: As the burden of cardiovascular disease increases in sub-Saharan Africa, there is a growing need for low-cost interventions to mitigate its impact. Providing self-care health education to patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) is recommended as an intervention to prevent complications, improve quality of life, and reduce financial burdens on fragile health systems. However, little is known about health education’s effectiveness at improving CHF self-management adherence in sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore the present study aimed to assess the effectiveness of an educational intervention to improve self-care adherence among patients with CHF at Debre Markos and Felege Hiwot Referral Hospitals in Northwest Ethiopia. Methods: To address this gap, we adapted a health education intervention based on social cognitive theory comprising of intensive four-day training and, one-day follow-up sessions offered every four months. Patients also received illustrated educational leaflets. We then conducted a clustered randomized control trial of the intervention with 186 randomly-selected patients at Debre Markos and Felege Hiwot referral hospitals. We collected self-reported data on self-care behavior before each educational session. We analyzed these data using a generalized estimating equations model to identify health education's effect on a validated 8-item self-care adherence scale. Results: Self-care adherence scores were balanced at baseline. After the intervention, patients in the intervention group (n = 88) had higher adherence scores than those in the control group (n = 98). This difference was statistically significant (β = 4.15, p < 0.05) and increased with each round of education. Other factors significantly associated with adherence scores were being single (β = − 0.25, p < 0.05), taking aspirin (β = 0.76, p < 0.05), and having a history of hospitalization (β = 0.91, p < 0.05). Conclusions: We find that self-care education significantly improved self-care adherence scores among CHF patients. This suggests that policymakers should consider incorporating self-care education into CHF management.
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