The Role of Nurses in the Rehabilitation of Patients with Heart Failure

Introduction: Internationally the rehabilitation of patients with heart failure (HF) relies increasingly on nurses, both in hospitals and outpatient units, with the potential of improving the health status of patients while allowing for reduction and redistribution of the available funds. Aim: To investigate reports on nursing-based rehabilitation programmes for individuals with HF. Method: A search was made in PubMed, Iatrotek and Google Scholar for the period 2000 to 2012, using the key-words “nurse-led clinics”, “rehabilitation”, “heart failure”, “nursing role”. Results: Evidence of the beneficial effects of rehabilitation programmes is strong. The British Heart Foundation reported a 43% decrease in admissions for HF incidents, with annual savings of £8,000,000 for the NHS. In Italy the percentage of patients with HF stage III-IV was reduced from 34.5% to 12.3%. In a university hospital for patients with HF in North Carolina (USA) re-admittance decreased from 38% to 19%, days of hospitalization decreased from 4.3 to 3.8 and the average cost of hospitalization decreased from $10,624 to $ 5,893. In Greece, cardiac rehabilitation programmes are mostly limited to information on the beneficial effects of exercise and training for individuals with HF. Conclusions: The role of nurses in heart rehabilitation programmes has been shown worldwide to be a catalyst for improvement of the level of health which saves resources that can be redistributed. These results indicate that the adoption of similar rehabilitation programmes would be beneficial for the Greek society, particularly in times of financial crisis such as the current situation.

Category: Volume 53, N 2
Hits: 447 Hits
Created Date: 15-06-2014
Authors: Maria Magana , Alexandros Mihopoulos