Aims and objectives. To assess the learning needs of patients with heart failure in Korea as this information is the cornerstone for developing a programme based on patients' learning needs. Background. Heart failure is a life-threatening event and a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in Korea. Cardiac educational programmes are intended to prevent the recurrence of heart failure and improve patients' quality of life. However, patients' information requests have historically not been well met by physicians and nurses in Korea. Design. A descriptive and exploratory study was designed. Methods. We recruited 121 patients with heart failure between the ages of 19-88years. Self-report questionnaires, which included general characteristics, disease-related characteristics and the Heart Failure Patients' Learning Needs Inventory patient version, were used to gather data. Results. The only general characteristic that was significantly related to patients' learning needs was their occupation. No disease-related characteristics were related to learning needs. The overall mean learning needs score was 3·78. Conclusion. Patients' learning needs in Korea are lower than those typically seen in Western countries. Korean patients with heart failure had a low level of knowledge about heart failure and did not recognise the importance of being informed about their disease, which is why Korean patients with heart failure tend to depend on their physicians to make decisions related to their health management. These conditions can negatively affect clinical outcomes. Relevance to clinical practice. Although an educational programme for patients with heart failure should be based on the patients' learning needs, heart failure management and education programmes in Korea are not currently developed using a needs-based approach. Therefore, this study will provide a basis for encouraging Korean patients to obtain information about their disease and to guide professionals in developing heart failure management and education programmes.
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