Patient-Centered Intervention:
Symptom Management in Older Heart Failure Patients

Investigator: Sandra Plach, PhD, RN
Co-Investigator: Susan Heidrich, PhD, RN (UW-Madison)

The purpose of this study is to test the feasibility of:
  • HEART-IRIS, an innovative intervention to improve symptom self-management in older heart failure (HF) patients
The goal is to identify beliefs and barriers to HF symptom self-care in older adults. Heart failure is an escalating public health problem and the leading cause of hospitalization among persons over the age of 65.

Early recognition and monitoring of symptoms, along with timely initiation of self-management, can prevent hospitalizations, minimize complications, and maintain quality of life. The intervention consists of a telephone counseling interview with an advanced practice nurse. Reinforcement sessions are carried out bi-weekly for eight weeks and the management plan is revised as needed. Symptom self-management behaviors are assessed at 2, 4, 6, 8, and 16 weeks; also assessed are subject satisfaction, quality of life, health care utilization, and intervention costs.