Preferred Name

Reed, Patra Hull

Date of Award

Winter 2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Department

Department of Nursing

Advisor(s)

Linda Hulton PhD, RN

Abstract

This project was designed to evaluate the effectiveness in improving the quality of life among heart failure patients with the addition of the role of Community Health Worker (CHW) to a current continuum case management model. The study also addressed the increased need for more appropriate and cost-effective chronic care management for heart failure patients. Hospitals and healthcare systems are being challenged to find innovative ways to decrease readmissions, decrease unnecessary emergency room visits, increase patient adherence, and manage chronic disease, all improving the patient’s overall quality of life. Studies show that approximately 76% of heart failure patients have a relatively poor quality of life, while most factors can be modified through the use of ongoing education (Lakdizaji, Hassankhni, Agdam, Khajegodary, & Rezanieh, 2013). In a randomized trial documented by Lakdizaji et al. (2013), the control group that utilized an educational program showed significant differences in their total quality of life score as well as the individual physical and emotional dimensions. This study indicated that through ongoing education, heart failure patients’ quality of life can improve.

CHW services enhanced the current Continuum Case Management (CCM) program through providing additional health education, health care system navigation, healthcare monitoring, and identification of potential barriers for patients to receive appropriate care. In addition to improving overall quality of life, patients receiving interventions from the CHW also experienced decreased readmissions and Emergency Department (ED) visits. By reducing unnecessary health care visits, there was also an associated decrease in healthcare costs.

Available for download on Wednesday, December 13, 2017

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