A medical issue poses a global danger in a myriad of populations and is often affected by external factors such as geographic location, socio-economic background, access to health care, and adequate knowledge of prevention and treatment. Despite these differences, the prevalence of heart failure is prominent worldwide and incredibly detrimental not only to the health of the patients but also to the ability of healthcare providers to supply adequate services and medication.
Background and Significance of Heart Failure
Heart failure is an issue with a global span that affects a minimum of twenty-six million people worldwide. Its prevalence continues to increase, directly harming patients suffering from related conditions and facilitating pressure on the continued development of necessary health expenditures. While therapies and prevention practices have elevated the issue’s detriment over the past few years, the high mortality and morbidity continue to decrease patients’ quality of life largely due to how common heart failure is. While prevalence, incidence, morbidity, and mortality are largely affected by geographic factors and clinical characteristics, people are similarly and adversely affected by heart failure and related conditions regardless of certain aspects.
Statement of the Problem and Purpose of the Study
While health difficulties in regard to heart failure are often exacerbated by external factors such as inadequate knowledge, access to health care, and socio-economic components, engagement with modern facilities results in a newer problem; currently, many issues exacerbated or created as the result of heart conditions or failure are often associated with lacking knowledge or self-care. Similarly, the situation is also affected by the inaccessibility or inadequate care by the hospital and nursing staff of the patient suffering from heart failure. As such, the following paper will investigate the relationship between nursing education and processes and their importance in promoting self-care and check-ups in patients with heart failure.
Some markers of poor health outcomes related to heart failure often manifest as readmissions due to negligent self-care. Recent studies have observed that nurse-led educational practices within inpatient hospital settings have resulted in improved knowledge of self-care behaviors. In certain cases, this process has also been linked to reduced readmissions. As such, the following paper aims to research and evaluate the relationship between nurse-led education for inpatients and its effects on readmission rates. This will be done by posing the following research question: “Among patients suffering heart conditions or heart failure, does inpatient educational nurse intervention targeting self-care and medical knowledge lead to reduced readmission within a six-month period?”
Inpatient educational practices do not refer strictly to nurse-patient interactions or pre-discharge interventions. This process may refer to any available material provided to patients regarding their conditions, including but not limited to nurse-patient interaction. It may also include print and informative digital resources as well as consultation with medical staff. However, the following study will observe the delivery of information only within inpatient settings. While no decisive evidence of the relationship between such procedures and readmission rates is currently available, recent studies regarding the topic have suggested a correlation. As such, the hypothesis states that increased inpatient nurse-led educational interventions reduce the likelihood of readmissions within a six-month period.
The identification of the study variables is the essential next step of the research proposal. The primary variable to be considered is the readmission rates of individuals with heart failure cases after clear discharges regarding the condition. The independent variable includes the frequency of the patient’s exposure to either nurse-led inpatient educational content or interaction. This variable can be categorized by the duration of such an exposure, its recurrence, and the kind and method of information provided for the patient. Both variables must have operational definitions. As such, readmission will be observed as an occurrence in which patients that have received prior nurse-led education are readmitted to the hospital with identical or similar complications that were present in their original admission. Nurse-led education can be distributed between nurse-patient interaction, text materials, media materials (such as video or audio), and any form of group or individual consultation while in an inpatient setting.
The primary mode of education by nursing staff within hospital settings remains nurse-patient interactions. One-on-one sessions have particular effects on later quality of life factors, readmission rates, and related healthcare costs among adult patients with heart failure conditions. A study that implemented a systematic review through randomized control trials observed data related to terms such as nursing, education, heart failure, hospitalizing, readmission, and economic burden and illustrated the relationship between nurse-led education and its impact (Rice et al., 2018). It was able to distinguish that adult patients with heart failure experienced reductions in hospital readmissions, hospitalization, and hazards to their quality of life in correlation with receiving nurse-led education.
A study pertaining 29 individuals with heart failure conditions, a study that observed nurse-led education and self-care behaviors within a thirty-day period. Follow-up interviews with patients occurred during the seven, thirty, and ninety-day time frames after discharge (Awoke et al., 2019). The study was able to determine that there was a significant difference between knowledge and maintenance of self-care between the seven and ninety-day periods after release from the hospital. The check-ups after thirty days illustrated increased confidence in the ability to administer self-care than the first seven-day period. However, no particular significance was seen on readmission rates within this particular sample.
Due to the persistent and global nature of heart failure, it is also vital to observe external factors that may contribute to the effectiveness of nurse-led education. One study observed that medication adherence, dietary changes, symptom control, and social support are also likely to cause a reduction in readmission rates, as evidenced by the study’s intervention group (Cui et al., 2019). Additionally, heart failure is a condition that always increases the risk of a patient’s readmission. Certain factors, such as medical coverage, gender, and length of stay, contribute to a patient’s likelihood of being hospitalized (Mirkin et al., 2017). As such, current studies illustrate that while nurse-led education has a noticeable influence over self-care and readmission rates, certain factors may override these effects.
The presence of alternative approaches to nurse-patient interactions has also been observed within inpatient settings. For example, a study investigated the impact of a Patient Navigator Program in relation to patients with heart failure and medical outcomes. The study found that the navigator program resulted in higher follow-up questions and decreased readmission rates compared to a standard medical center (Di Palo et al., 2017). Another study that analyzed mobile technology as a tool for self-care education exposed that traditional telemonitoring is often costly for patients and an organizational challenge for nurses (Athilingam et al., 2018). As such, alternative approaches should be incorporated into this study to better understand the role of newer technology in nurse-led education for heart failure patients.
Athilingam, P., Jenkins, B. A., Zumpano, H., & Labrador, M. A. (2018). Mobile technology to improve heart failure outcomes: A proof of concept paper. Applied Nursing Research, 39(1), 26-33. Web.
Awoke, M. S., Baptiste, D., Davidson, P., Roberts, A., Dennison-Himmelfarb, C. (2019). A quasi-experimental study examining a nurse-led education program to improve knowledge, and self-care, and reduce readmission for individuals with heart failure. Contemporary Nurse, 55(1), 15-26. Web.
Cui, X., Zhou, X., Ma, L., Sun, T., Bishop, L., Gardiner, F.W., & Wang, L. (2019). A nurse-led structured education program improves self-management skills and reduces hospital readmissions in patients with chronic heart failure: a randomized and controlled trial in China. Rural and Remote Health, 19(2), 1-8. Web.
Di Palo, K. E., Patel, K., Assafin, M., & Pina, I. L. (2017). Implementation of a Patient Navigator Program to Reduce 30-day Heart Failure Readmission Rate. Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, 60(2), 259-266. Web.
Mirkin, K. A., Enomoto, L. M., Caputo, G. M., & Hollenbreak, C. S. (2017). Risk factors for 30-day readmission in patients with congestive heart failure. Heart and Lung, 46(5), 357-362. Web.
Rice, H., Say, R., & Betihavas, V. (2018). The effect of nurse-led education on hospitalization, readmission, quality of life and cost in adults with heart failure. A systematic review. Patient and Education Counseling, 101(3), 363-374. Web.