Background Non-adherence to treatment and diet, and failure to seek care are contributors to readmissions in heart failure (HF) patients. Specific questions related to treatment adherence and living with HF improve prioritisation of patients for pre-discharge medication management and self-care education.
Purpose The objective was to undertake an adherence to treatment assessment and correlate with an assessment of the potential of patients to engage in self-management. This was defined as the percentage grade of correct answers to four questions that demonstrate knowledge of living with HF.
Material and methods The study was conducted between 20 June–31 August 2018 in an acute hospital. Patients who qualified for the study through pre-set inclusion and exclusion criteria were administered the Treatment Adherence Questionnaire (TAQ).1 Four supplementary questions were asked to measure the knowledge of patients concerning their diuretic treatment, the use of salt in food preparation, weight monitoring and alarm symptoms warranting referral.
Results The cohort of patients (n=57) had an average TAQ score of 70 (range: 31–95) on a scale of 0–100 indicating a medium-high adherence. The mean cohort grade to the four questions was 43% (range: 0%–75%). Twenty-five patients gave an unsatisfactory answer to at least three of the questions; thirty patients were unable to name their diuretic; 51 patients were categorical about not taking salt and all knew that salt should be avoided; six patients added salt deliberately while cooking; 55 patients failed to relate the need of weight monitoring to check fluid overload and only associated weight with body fat; 34 patients were unable to mention at least one basic symptom apart from shortness of breath; and 15 patients exhibited a mismatch between the TAQ score and the percentage grade to the knowledge questions (medium-high TAQ score versus low grade 0%–25% to questions).
Conclusion The patients demonstrated the need for support in improving self-management related to lifestyle and medication knowledge. The lack of engagement in self-management did not reflect a low adherence to treatment.
References and/or acknowledgements 1. Anastasi A, Grech L, Serracino Inglott A, Azzopardi LM. CP-185: an innovative treatment adherence tool EJHP 2017;24:
No conflict of interest.
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