Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Heart failure is a growing health problem in the United States, costing the healthcare system billions of dollars and having a significant impact on patients' quality of life. To improve heart failure outcomes and reduce associated costs, we must educate patients to properly manage their disease condition. Traditionally, this patient education takes place during a standard office visit with a provider. However, in a self-management program, the provider, through individualized education, empowers the patient to become an active participant in their care. The purpose of this literature review was to explore the effect of self management programs, in comparison to standard in-office education, on the morbidity and mortality of heart failure patients. A total of 11 articles on self-management programs were reviewed, and it was detennined that heart failure self-management programs show a great potential to improve outcomes such as hospitalizations, quality of life, and mortality. However, more research needs to be done on the topic due to some study results being mixed, or showing results that were not statistically significant. In addition, this review evaluated five studies on the role of the nurse or advanced practice nurse in the self management process. Self-management programs led by a specially trained nurse, or an advanced practice nurse, show great success in improving heart failure patient outcomes. Finally, literature was reviewed to evaluate what components should be included in a heart failure self-management program. These components are described in detail, with relevant practice recommendations directed towards providers caring for heart failure patients. In order to disseminate the impo1iant info1mation from this literature review, a poster of the findings discussed above was created and presented to providers who care for heart failure patients. The presentation included a summary of the literature review findings, as well as practice recommendations based on those findings.