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Heart failure is a serious, chronic, and complex condition requiring continuing care. Therefore, advanced practice nurses play a key role to improve the healthcare quality for this population. The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to compare outcomes of persons with heart failure receiving the Continuing Care Program led by advanced practice nurses and those receiving usual care. Purposive sampling was used to recruit people with heart failure from a university hospital in Thailand. The participants numbered 29 and 42 in the comparison and intervention groups, respectively. The study outcomes included: body weight changes, complications, functional status, quality of life, satisfaction with nursing care, emergency room visits, time interval between discharge and the first readmission, readmission rate, length of stay, and cost of care assessed at hospital discharge and three-months post-discharge Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, nonparametric tests, t-test, and regression analysis.
Results revealed that functional status, quality of life, and patient satisfaction with nursing care in the intervention group were significantly higher, whereas length of stay and cost of care were significantly lower than those in the comparison group. Therefore, the Advanced Practice Nurse-Led Continuing Care Program holds promise for improving population-based care outcomes for those with complicated chronic health problems such as heart failure.
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