Msc. Valbona Alliu, Phd. Alketa Hoxha Qosja, Prof. Dr. Petrit Bare
Cardiac educational programs are intended to prevent the recurrence of heart failure and improve patients' quality of life. Public awareness of risk factors for ischemic heart disease is essential, but no measures of it exist in Albania where it is on the rise and the incidence of MI and other cardiac diseases are dramatically increasing.
The aim of our study is to assess the knowledge levels of the risk factors in patients after an acute heart attack, because this information is the cornerstone for developing an educational program based on patients' needs.
This is a descriptive study. We recruited 100 patients after an acute heart attack aged between 32-34 years old. Self-report questionnaires, which included general characteristics, disease-related characteristics and a pre-test/post-test design was conducted to assess needs of the patients, changes in knowledge and self-care abilities.
We found that more than 90% of patients desired information, particularly about heart failure symptoms, time to notify healthcare providers, prognosis, and exercise/physical activity. Of the 100 participants 61% were male, 59% were aged between 55 and 74 years, and 31.6% had not completed ten years education.
Albanian patients after an acute cardiac event had a low level of knowledge about these diseases. These conditions can negatively affect clinical outcomes. This pilot study has indicated that a patient-centre educating is beneficial and is associated with an improvement in patients' knowledge and self-care abilities.
Relevance to clinical practice
Therefore, this study will provide a basis for encouraging Albanian patients to obtain information about their disease and to guide professionals in developing education programs.
Keywords: patients after an acute heart attack, self-educational, healthcare professionals, self-care abilities