“In order to reduce the number of patients returning to the emergency department for heart failure exacerbations, we need a better handle on what they can and cannot do for themselves after hospital discharge and why,” said lead study author Richard Holden, PhD, of Indiana University in Indianapolis, Ind. “More than three-quarters of acute heart failure patients in the ER are experiencing exacerbation of their condition, not something new. Many of those exacerbations are the result of self-care challenges, including inadequate access to medications or lack of knowledge, which theoretically can be modified for the better.”

Top 10 Barriers For Self-Care

Dr. Holden and his team surveyed 31 acute heart failure patients who visited the emergency department. Of 47 different self-care barriers (such as transportation problems, insurance problems and caregiver responsibilities), an average of 15 per patient were indicated as sometimes or often present. Thirty-three of the barriers were reported by at least 25 percent of all patients. The top 10 most prevalent barriers were:


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