The impact of nurse-directed patient education on quality of life and functional capacity in people with heart failure


Judith Kutzleb, 49 Franklin Avenue, Hawthorne, NJ 07506. Tel: 973 427 8358; E-mail:


Purpose: The purpose of this research was to evaluate the impact of a nurse-directed approach to patient education, which focused on lifestyle modification, daily weight management, diet, and medication compliance to improve the quality of life (QOL) and functional capacity in people with heart failure.

Data sources: This was a prospective quasiexperimental multicenter research study of 23 patients comparing a nurse-directed care (NC) group (n= 13), which received comprehensive disease management education and weekly telephone follow-up, and the routine care (RC) group (n= 10) that received protocol-driven medical management. The study length was 12 months.

Conclusions: Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to test for equality of variance–covariance matrices in the study population over time. ANCOVA measured baseline and two data intervals for a total of 9 months between the control and experimental (NC and RC) groups. There was statistically significant improvement in the NC group for the domains of total QOL: F= 3.569, p= 0.000; health and function: F= 3.995, p= 0.003; social and economic: F= 14.109, p= 0.000; psychological and spiritual: F= 13.212, p= 0.000; and family: F= 2.384, p= 0.048. Functional capacity was not significantly impacted by the study team interventions (F= 0.228, p= 0.949).

Implications for practice: Results indicate that nurse-directed patient education was effective in improving QOL. A nurse-directed treatment strategy significantly improves patients’ role in symptom control and disease self-management.