Document Type

DNP Project

Publication Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Faculty Advisor

Sharon Bradley, DNP, MSN, RN, CCM, CHCE, CPHQ, NE-BC, DNP

Practice Mentor

Ruthanne Crocetto, RN, DNP


Heart failure (HF) is a major health concern. External evidence supports the use of the teach-back method for patient education to promote self-care behaviors in patients with HF which may also reduce rehospitalizations. Patients with HF at one home health agency in New England participated in the quality improvement project which consisted of delivering 20 minute weekly standardized teach-back educational sessions covering topics of HF self-care over six weeks. The existing patient education materials and two new resources, Medication Tracker and Self-Check Plan for HF management, were reviewed. Three questions from the Self-Care of Heart Failure Index were asked during the first and last visits. The 15 project participants had a 30 day rehospitalization rate of <1% with one patient re-hospitalized. By the last visit, all 15 patients weighed themselves in accordance with recommendations; improved from the four patients who stated pre-implementation that they engaged in this behavior. Pre-implementation, nine patients stated they had trouble breathing or swollen ankles within the last month. Post-implementation, seven patients stated they experienced these symptoms. Eight patients experienced an increase in confidence in relieving symptoms and for seven patients confidence was less or unchanged. Recommendations include expanding teach-back to more patients, increasing session times to 30 minutes and increasing the duration of education of up to three months. Participants expressed satisfaction with teach-back sessions which supported the value of this low cost, easy to implement, evidenced based approach for care of HF patients at home.


A DNP project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Nursing Practice, Sacred Heart University Davis & Henley College of Nursing.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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