Exercise and cardiac rehabilitation

Exercise and cardiac rehabilitation


‘Self-care’ is what people do for themselves to establish and maintain health, and to prevent and deal with illness with or without a health care provider. For effective management of HF, self-care allows patients to understand what is beneficial, recognition of deterioration and supports self-monitoring and management plans. HF patients who report more effective self-care have a better QOL, lower readmission rates, and reduced mortality (see patient resources below).

Misunderstandings, misconceptions, and lack of knowledge all contribute to insufficient self-care and therefore patient education is vital. Improving patients’ knowledge of their condition is fundamental for the development of self-care skills.

Education to improve self-care should be tailored to the individual patient and based on, where available, scientific evidence or expert opinion.

Patients also need to know who to turn to when concerned AND the health care professional who is being asked needs to have enough information on the patient [both in and out of hours] therefore, shared IT systems are a vital part of supporting both the patient and the health professional.

There are different approaches as to how patients with concerns can access a heart failure specialist. In England, one such approach is patient initiated follow up - (PIFU) click here to find out more. However, the principles of empowering patients to have control over their follow-up care can be applied to any nation or health system.

The European Guidelines for the management of acute and chronic heart failure provide a comprehensive approach to patient education, self care and lifestyle advice. see Section 9.3.

There are many resources available to help your patient gain a better understanding of heart failure from understanding medicines to the warning signs of deterioration. The resources below from various heart charities are great educational and communication tools to engage your patient. All the links will open in new windows.

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(c) British Society for Heart Failure, 2022-
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