Patient Education Patient Education

This section has a number of templates for both cardiac rehabilitation and heart failure (HF) that summarise the core topics for group education sessions. Group sessions have the advantage of facilitating social connections and allowing participants the opportunity to share and discuss issues.

While learning interests vary, diagnosis may influence topics of interest. Following an acute myocardial infarction (MI), patients tend to want practical information pertinent to survival such as risk factors, anatomy and physiology, medications and physical activity.[#scott-j-thompson-dr.-2003] Whereas patients with heart failure tend to want information related to long term management including signs and symptoms followed by prognosis, risk factors and medications.[#boyde-m-tuckett-a-peters-r-et-al.-2009]

  • Establish the overall aims, timings and structure of the program
  • Decide on the program treatment and lifestyle topics
  • Decide on the relative emphasis of each component of the sessions included in the program
  • Cut down on non-critical health education (decide on core versus supplementary information)
  • Tailor education and information to the participants’ needs—don’t treat every group exactly the same
  • Deliver the education in an interactive way. Ask participants what they already know about the treatment and lifestyle topics, and then tailor the education. Ask for feedback and allow time for discussion; avoid delivering an arduous lecture
  • Consider building in some fun, humour and activity to keep the mood light
  • Encourage carers to attend and be part of the group
  • Use local experts to run special sessions such as ambulance services to teach cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or device representatives to teach about implantable cardiac devices (ICDs)
  • Scott J, Thompson DR. Assessing the information needs of post-myocardial infarction patients: a systematic review. Patient Educ Couns 2003;50:167-177.

  • Boyde M, Tuckett A, Peters R, et al. Learning style and learning needs of heart failure patients (The Need2Know-HF patient study). Eur J of Cardiovasc Nurs 2009;8:316-322.

  • Beattie J, Goodlin S (Eds.). Supportive Care in Heart Failure. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 2008