Cardiac Rehabilitation for Heart Failure Patients: An Evaluation of Knowledge and Practice Patterns of Nurse Practitioners
AdvisorMartin-Plank, Lori M.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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EmbargoDissertation not available (per author's request)
AbstractHeart failure (HF) is a complex, debilitating disease that affects approximately 6.5 million Americans (Ades et al., 2013). HF is a large reason for hospital readmissions, and subsequently, a major contributor to rising health care costs. Unfortunately, there is no cure for HF, but various interventions such as cardiac rehabilitation (CR) have been employed to help patients manage the symptoms. However, the lack of patients ever being referred to cardiac rehabilitation is disturbing. Healthcare providers play an essential role in providing education about heart failure and CR, and thus should be knowledgeable about these principles themselves. Therefore, the aim of this project is to evaluate data from a survey sent to nurse practitioners (NPs) regarding whether HF patients are being referred to CR appropriately, and if barriers are limiting use of CR programs. This was a descriptive, nonexperimental study with a survey design seeking to understand if NP providers are following evidence-based guidelines when treating HF patients and if providers consider CR programs to be an appropriate treatment tool. A survey questionnaire was distributed to NPs who are members of Coalition of Arizona Nurses in Advanced Practice (CAZNAP). Data from 27 surveys were used for analysis. Results showed that nurse practitioner respondents felt they had a good understanding of heart failure education and diagnosis. A majority also considered CR to be a useful tool for HF patients, and all agreed that health care providers affect CR enrollment and participation rates. A mere nine respondents (33%) reported being introduced to the outcomes and benefits of CR in their graduate education. Findings also confirmed previous work suggesting that providers are not adequately referring HF patients to CR, as 33% of NPs reported they have never referred a patient to CR. With respect to these findings, it is important to identify methods to assist providers with proper education about CR and its referral methods. As supported by the literature review, improved referral rates to CR can lead to better management and health outcomes for HF patients. Therefore, further research is needed to identify interventions that promote increased CR referral rates.
Degree ProgramGraduate College