Disease Management, Advance Directives, and End-of-Life Care in Heart Failure Education and Counseling

Overview

The majority of heart failure (HF) care is performed at home by the patient and family or caregiver. If these individuals do not know what is required, fail to see its importance, or face barriers to engagement in self-care, they will not participate effectively. For this reason, comprehensive education and counseling are the foundation for all HF management. The goals of education and counseling are to help patients, their families, and caregivers acquire the knowledge, skills, strategies, problem solving abilities, and motivation necessary for adherence to the treatment plan and effective participation in self-care. The inclusion of family members and other caregivers is especially important, because HF patients often suffer from cognitive impairment, functional disabilities, multiple comorbidities and other conditions that limit their ability to fully comprehend, appreciate, or enact what they learn.1-7