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A randomized controlled trial of self-management programme improves health-related outcomes of older people with heart failure


Correspondence to Su-Hui Chen:




This paper is a report on the effectiveness of a self-management programme based on the self-efficacy construct, in older people with heart failure.


Heart failure is a major health problem worldwide, with high mortality and morbidity, making it a leading cause of hospitalization. Heart failure is associated with a complex set of symptoms that arise from problems in fluid and sodium retention. Hence, managing salt and fluid intake is important and can be enhanced by improving patients' self-efficacy in changing their behaviour.


Randomized controlled trial.


Heart failure patients attending cardiac clinics in northern Taiwan from October 2006–May 2007 were randomly assigned to two groups: control (= 46) and intervention (= 47). The intervention group received a 12-week self-management programme that emphasized self-monitoring of salt/fluid intake and heart failure-related symptoms. Data were collected at baseline as well as 4 and 12 weeks later. Data analysis to test the hypotheses used repeated-measures anova models.


Participants who received the intervention programme had significantly better self-efficacy for salt and fluid control, self-management behaviour and their heart failure-related symptoms were significantly lower than participants in the control group. However, the two groups did not differ significantly in health service use.


The self-management programme improved self-efficacy for salt and fluid control, self-management behaviours, and decreased heart failure-related symptoms in older Taiwanese outpatients with heart failure. Nursing interventions to improve health-related outcomes for patients with heart failure should emphasize self-efficacy in the self-management of their disease.