The 19 included studies had 3,166 participants; sample sizes ranged from 18 to 902. The mean age was 68.4 years; 57% of participants were male; and most were Caucasian. Typical follow-up ranged from three to six months, only one study had a follow-up at three years.
Thirteen of 17 studies reported significant improvement in self-care maintenance or management in the treatment group. Most of these significant results were for maintenance outcomes, including weight management, smoking cessation, medication adherence, and following a low-sodium diet. Four of six studies measuring knowledge reported a greater knowledge of self-care for heart failure with the intervention.
Health-related quality of life was significantly improved in the intervention group in most studies that assessed it. In three out of four studies reporting hospital readmission rates, there were no differences between treated and control participants.