The research article seeks to assess and determine the importance of nurse care and self-care intervention programs in the management and improvement of patients’ health conditions and quality of life. Nurses are the primary care specialist in a hospital set up with fundamental expert-patient relationships forming the first and last impression of the quality healthcare provided to patients, family members, and the entire population (Stavrianopoulos, 2016). Nurses influence patient lifestyle modification through instructional guidelines that promote self-care and improvement of health conditions. In the article (Stavrianopoulos, 2016), the use of nurse-led intervention programs in care delivery and management of patients with heart failure (HF) condition impact positively on the outcome of their state of health, cost implications, the recovery process, and enjoyment of life. The findings from the study indicate a consistent improvement of outcome from the baseline data after every nurse-led intervention on HF patients. Overall, the improvement of patients’ quality of life is fundamental for all forms of disease management and treatment interventions.
The research assesses how nurse follow-up program on heart failure patients influences their general improvement of life. The follow-up program involved educating patients on first-line measures in the management of heart failure, medication requirements, lifestyle requirements, and disease symptoms. Of essence is the on-time participation of nurses in monitoring patient conditions is essential in facilitation and evaluation of the effectiveness of intervention measures towards the improvement of patients’ quality of life. However, the study failed to consider some of the confounding variables that could likely impact the general outcome of the intervention such as patient cultural and religious beliefs, medication discipline, personal habits and drug addiction, literacy, financial ability to gather intervention measures, and family willingness of care-support. Since patients are the principal components of care, the provision of education on individual health condition and care requirements improve the perception of nursing care and intervention measures that positively influence patient acceptance and support of care services.
The study utilized a survey research design and collected data using a structured questionnaire. The nurses collected data through telecommunication with patients providing weekly information on their quality of life within 16 weeks. This form of data collection from patients’ comfort environment is cost-effective, flexible, and convenient for use in a large population. Given that data were collected through telephone communication, the accuracy of the results entirely depended on patient honest, understanding of the nurse instructions, and items in the questionnaire. The author utilized a questionnaire to reduce inconvenience in data collection from patients in a distributed area of coverage with fewer cost implications. Thus, the use of telecommunication questionnaire provided reliable and quality data from normal social environment relevant to the improvement of healthcare management, as the participants were not confined in an ideal hospital set up.
The study comprised 50 participants of both gender randomly divided into two groups, the control, and the intervention groups, each consisting of 25 patients. Participant eligibility involved patients diagnosed with HF conditions who sought medical services from one district hospital in Greece, telephone accessibility, and those with 18 years of age and above. The small sample size is inadequate because a majority of the population suffer from HF and access medical services in various hospitals within the country. Additionally, the small number of participants was inadequate in determining and concluding the contribution of care intervention measures in the improvement of living conditions for all HF patients in the entire population. The limited area of study and the small number of participants does not give sufficient representation of the entire population thus limiting the generalization of the findings.
Data Collection Method
The district nurses were responsible for data collection through telecommunication every week for 16 weeks. The researchers utilized Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire (MLHFQ), a medical questionnaire standardized for heart failure patients in data collection from the participants that are appropriate to administer during clinical practice. The standardized questionnaire is appropriate for promoting the validity and reliability of the findings. The researchers only conducted their study on patients whose health conditions were clinically proven to have HF. In the study, the researchers failed to address ethical requirements in seeking consent from the participants and ethical clearance from hospital management that could lead to legal suit by the patients.
Limitations of the Study
The limitations of the study include small sample size, limited sample area, and reliance on participant information. The small sample size and limited sample area have an insignificant representation of the entire population, hence limiting the generalization of the findings. Additionally, reliance on participant information reduces the internal validity of the data collected as it leads to bias reporting and intervention by participants and researchers. To overcome these limitations in subsequent studies, future researchers should conduct their data collection from both private and public hospitals in all regions within the location or country, involve a large number of participants, and conduct data collection on a continuous hospital visit or nurse-patient visit assessment. Discussing limitations in a study helps readers and future researchers in understanding the possible variables that could have affected the validity of the findings of the study. This understanding helps future researchers in correcting the processes to provide more conclusive findings.
From the article, there was no observable difference in average weight for the participants, and a reduction in the frequency of hospital visits and duration hospital stay in the two groups. However, the two groups recorded the apparent difference in their MLHFQ score after intervention with experimental group scoring 31.52, a reduction from its baseline score of 50.88, and a control group scoring 53.80, a slight increase from its baseline score of 52.40. Additionally, the experimental group recorded a better overall score in the MLHFQ measurement than the control group. The significant difference between the two groups’ scores indicates a positive impact of care intervention programs on the quality of life for patients with HF. However, the findings of the study are not adequately credible given the self-reporting of data by the participants that negatively affected the internal validity of the results.
In medical practice, care intervention is a convenient program that significantly reduces patient hospitalization and promotes the patient recovery process, management of cost implications, and enjoyment of life. Nurses are the primary facilitators of care intervention programs for both in- and out-patient hospital services. Therefore, the involvement of nurses, patients’ families, and patients in medical practice are essential in achieving an effective process of promoting quality of life, cost reduction, and the perception of health care. The results of the study indicate that in chronic heart failure, the nurse-led intervention program positively contributed to the improvement of patient quality of life.
Provided the findings and its convenience, hospitals ought to implement nurse care interventions to promote the standards and quality of care services. In this view, more research on promoting care intervention and adequately managing limitations helps in the achievement of the objective of healthcare delivery. In healthcare, nurses play a major role in both the practice improvement of care and the determination of significant intervention measures towards the reduction of disease symptoms, patients’ suffering, and improvement of individual ability to perform personal duties. Thus due to the ever-increasing cases of HF in the world, care follow-up programs should be utilized in medical practice to promote adequate management of patients.
Stavrianopoulos, T. (2016). Impact of a nurses-led telephone intervention program on the quality of life in patients with heart failure in a district hospital of Greece. Health Science Journal, 10(4-5), 1-8.