Publication Date

1-1-1997

Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Nursing

Abstract

Congestive heart failure is a widely prevalent sequel to other chronic medical and cardiovascular conditions. It is of growing concern to nurse practitioners in the primary care setting. Quality of life, as perceived by an individual, is directly affected while living with a chronic terminal illness. This pilot project conducted in a solo medical practice examines the effect of a patient education program on the quality of life of patients living with congestive heart failure. Basic patient education regarding anatomy, physiology, daily body weights, medication management, sodium restriction, regular exercise, and stress reduction was taught to a sample of patients with congestive heart failure. Quality of life measurements were made using the Quality of Life Index developed by Ferrans and Powers. Statistical data did not reflect a significant change in quality of life over the two month pilot study, but qualitative data suggested benefits to patients that could not be measured by the Quality of Life Index. The broad base of skills possessed by the nurse practitioner can improve care of patients and potentially enhance the patients' self perceived quality of life. This pilot study indicates a need for more research into this topic.

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