Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Degree Level





Smith-Blair, Nan

Committee Member/Reader

Henderson, Jaye

Committee Member/Second Reader

Agana, Carol


After diagnosis, management of congestive heart failure (CHF) can pose quite a struggle to many patients, since it requires that lifestyle changes be implemented into their daily life. Patients require the sufficient knowledge and education in order to best manage symptoms and improve their quality of life after being diagnosed. Use of Patient Knowledge of Self-care activities in Congestive Heart Failure© (PaKSAC) survey in transitional care programs could identify patient gaps in knowledge, as well as decreasing acute care service use. The purpose of this research study was to investigate the knowledge level of CHF patients at the time of discharge from their initial hospitalization using the PaKSAC questionnaire.

The following research question was addressed: Describe the patients’ responses to the PaKSAC questionnaire and identify gaps of knowledge. This study was initiated following approval of the University of Arkansas and the study hospital Institutional Review Boards. This simple descriptive study will use secondary data analysis performed on 21 subjects, which completed a transitional care project. The study population consisted of New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class II and III patients, 18 years of age and older, with the primary diagnosis of CHF, discharged from the hospital to home. This descriptive study examined the various domains of knowledge related to lifestyle habits that can exacerbate symptoms, dietary considerations, activity level, and identification of warning signs and symptoms in the CHF patient. The PaKSAC survey was administered following discharge from the hospital. All patient information was de-identified following the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) guidelines and reported in the aggregate. Univariate statistics was used to characterize the data obtained using the PaKSAC survey. The PaKSAC survey results were analyzed according to the domains related to knowledge about CHF, signs and symptoms, self-care, and self-care confidence (Appendix A). This study provides findings on the knowledge deficit that is a pressing issue found in CHF patients. Study results lead to the conclusion that discharge planning and continued post-discharge education is extremely important for this population.