Almost 5 million Americans are living with congestive heart failure (CHF) today with over 400,000 new cases diagnosed annually (American Heart Association, 1997; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 1996; Konstam et al., 1994). Despite medical advances, mortality rates remain high for CHF. Lack of knowledge was cited as a frequent cause of clients' noncompliance with prescribed self-care regimen. Client education has been indicated as beneficial in promoting a better self-understanding of CHF. In order to successfully provide education to CHF clients, health care providers must first be able to assess clients' prior knowledge about the condition. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the knowledge level about self-care measures among persons with CHF. Pender's Health Promotion Model provided the theoretical framework for this study. The following directional hypothesis guided this study : Congestive heart failure clients will have a greater knowledge about self-care measures score than the established knowledge score. The design of the study was a nonexperimental descriptive/exploratory survey. A nurse practitioner and an internal medicine physician offices were the settings for this study. The sample (N = 31) consisted of clients with a primary or secondary medical diagnosis of CHF who completed the mailed out surveys and returned them. The researcherdesigned Savage Demographic Survey and the Savage Heart Test were the instruments used for the survey study. Descriptive statistics revealed a relatively young sample (57.9%), the majority of whom were African American. A one-sample t test was used to test the hypothesis. Data analysis, h (29) = 2.489, p = .01, indicated that the participants' achievement of knowledge about self-care measures was significantly deficient. Recommendations for future research include replication with a larger sample size and adequate time for completion of the study. Implications for practice included the routine assessment of clients' knowledge level about CHF self-care before attempting to teach self-care measures.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Graduate Nursing

Degree Date


Publication Number


First Advisor

Lorraine Hamm

Second Advisor

Lois Griffin

Third Advisor

Lynn Chilton

Document Type


Included in

Nursing Commons