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An integrative literature review on nursing interventions aimed at increasing self-care among heart failure patients 1 1 Supported by Réseau de recherche en interventions en sciences infirmières du Québec (RRISIQ), Canada.



to analyze and summarize knowledge concerning critical components of interventions that have been proposed and implemented by nurses with the aim of optimizing self-care by heart failure patients.


PubMed and CINAHL were the electronic databases used to search full peer-reviewed papers, presenting descriptions of nursing interventions directed to patients or to patients and their families and designed to optimize self-care. Forty-two studies were included in the final sample (n=4,799 patients).


this review pointed to a variety and complexity of nursing interventions. As self-care encompasses several behaviors, interventions targeted an average of 3.6 behaviors. Educational/counselling activities were combined or not with cognitive behavioral strategies, but only about half of the studies used a theoretical background to guide interventions. Clinical assessment and management were frequently associated with self-care interventions, which varied in number of sessions (1 to 30); length of follow-up (2 weeks to 12 months) and endpoints.


these findings may be useful to inform nurses about further research in self-care interventions in order to propose the comparison of different modalities of intervention, the use of theoretical background and the establishment of endpoints to evaluate their effectiveness.

Heart Failure; Self-Care; Nursing; Intervention; Review

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