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Feasibility of a group-based self-management program among congestive heart failure patients

      Objective

      This study assessed the feasibility of the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) among patients with congestive heart failure (CHF). The program emphasizes patients' central role and responsibility in managing their illness.

      Methods

      Patients were randomly assigned to the program, which was led by a cardiac nurse specialist and a CHF patient. Data on performance according to protocol, adherence, and opinion about the program were collected among 186 patients and 18 leaders.

      Results

      Eighty percent of the group sessions were carried out largely according to protocol. Three fourths of the patients attended at least 4 of the 6 sessions. Female sex and lower New York Heart Association classification predicted good attendance.

      Conclusion

      Directly after the program and at 12-month follow-up, approximately three fourths of the patients stated that they had benefited from the program. Recommendations mainly concerned spending more time on several program topics and specifying patient-selection criteria in more detail. The program was considered feasible.
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