Eliciting the educational priorities of home care workers caring for adults with heart failure.
BACKGROUND: Although home care workers (HCWs) are increasingly caring for adults with heart failure (HF), many feel unprepared and lack HF training. To serve as the foundation for a future educational intervention, we aimed to elicit HCWs' HF educational needs. METHODS: We partnered with the largest healthcare union in the US to recruit 41 HCWs employed by 17 home care agencies. Using the nominal group technique, we asked HCWs to respond to three questions: When caring for an HF patient: (1) What information do you want? (2) What symptoms worry you? (3) What situations do you struggle with? Participants ranked their responses by priority. Data were consolidated by question. RESULTS: For question 1, participants ranked HF signs and symptoms most highly, followed by HF treatment and medications. For question 2, chest pain was most worrisome, followed by neurologic changes and shortness of breath. For question 3, participants struggled with encouraging patients to follow a heart-specific diet. CONCLUSIONS: HCWs expressed a need to learn more about signs and symptoms of HF and ways to assist patients with HF self-care. These findings can inform the development of an HF training program for HCWs that specifically addresses their expressed needs.