BACKGROUND: Improved self-care behaviour is a goal in educational programmes for patients with heart failure, especially in regard to daily self-weighing and salt and fluid restriction. AIMS: The objectives of the present study were to: (1) describe self-care with special regard to daily self-weighing and salt and fluid restriction in patients with heart failure in primary health care, during one year of monthly telephone follow-up after a single session education, (2) to describe gender differences in regard to self-care and (3) to investigate if self-care was associated with health-related quality of life. METHODS: The present analysis is a subgroup analysis of a larger randomised trial. After one intensive educational session, a primary health care nurse evaluated 60 patients (mean age 79 years, 52% males, 60% in New York Heart Association class III-IV) by monthly telephone follow-up during 12 months. RESULTS: The intervention had no effect on quality of life measured by EuroQol 5D and no significant associations were found between quality of life and self-care behaviour. Self-care behaviour measured by The European Self-care Behaviour Scale remained unchanged throughout the study period. No significant gender differences were shown but women had a tendency to improve adherence to daily weight control between 3- and 12 months. CONCLUSION: The self-care behaviour and quality of life in patients with heart failure did not change during one year of monthly telephone follow-up after a single session education and this indicates a need for more extensive interventions to obtain improved self-care behaviour in these patients.
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