Client Education: Heart Disease

Patient education on cardiovascular illnesses empowers people who may or may not be exposed to the disease. This is in line with the idea of establishing health policy initiatives to enhance patient empowerment (Bravo et al., 2015). Patient-led coaching and education initiatives are more effective in prevention of heart disease (Bravo et al., 2015). This paper presents an education plan targeting older adults and other individuals who may be at risk of developing heart disease.

Learner Population and Overall Goals

The target population for the education program is comprised of older adults who are aged above sixty-five years.

This population is disproportionately affected by the heart diseases, which make it necessary to enlighten it on effective strategies that can minimize the risk of developing the illness. It is estimated that heart diseases affect about 20 % of older adults who are aged 65 years and above (Danielsen et al.

, 2017). In addition, the disease has a significant economic impact on the affected persons due to the high cost of treatment (Danielsen et al., 2017). The high prevalence rate of the medical condition that affects this population means that adequate interventions are needed in order to enhance the quality of life of the senior citizens and make it possible to age gracefully.

The overall learning goal is to empower learners to adopt measures that can minimize the risks associated with the occurrence of the disease. While discussing the importance of patient education, Bravo et al. (2015) stated, “Patients are empowered when they have knowledge, skills, attitudes, and self-awareness necessary to influence their own behavior” (p.

6). Empowerment is preferred because it makes the persons better adapted to the condition. Empowerment is achieved when people are equipped with skills and knowledge (Bravo et al., 2015). Realization of the goals will contribute to improvement in skills through education.

Identification of the Health Issue

The main health issue, heart disease, is among the most common types of cardiovascular illnesses. The key characteristics of this type of illness that distinguish it from other major medical problems (such as cancer) include poor prognosis, high morbidity, and a low survival rate (Glogowska et al., 2015). The development of the disease is associated with narrowing of blood vessels, which occur when blocked. This could result in serious complications, such as stroke, chest pain, or heart attack. The incidents of first diagnosis are managed effectively through outpatient care (Glogowska et al., 2015). The term heart disease is an umbrella that covers a wide range of conditions, such as cardiovascular defects, coronary artery illness, and rhythmic problems.

Heart disease is associated with a range of symptoms that should be the focus of the education and intervention. Some of the symptoms are severe and require hospital admission (Glogowska et al., 2015). The most common symptoms are chest tightness, shortness of breath, pain in the jaw, throat, abdomen, and the neck. Patients also experience discomfort and pressure in the chest. The disease also interferes with the heart rate, which causes a range of symptoms, such as dizziness, lightheadedness, slow heartbeat, tachycardia, and fainting. Evidence-based guidelines require decisions that are made at the primary care level around the patient’s diagnosis and treatment inform the medication process (Glogowska et al., 2015). An effective intervention should be able to address the symptoms.

Risk Factors for Heart Disease

The risk of occurrence of heart diseases is associated with many factors. Age is among the leading risk factors for the illness (Gong et al., 2018). The risk increases as an individual gets older. The association between the illness and the age of individual results from the fact that the body system tends to get weaker as one becomes older. Older adults develop the heart disease, especially in the absence of proper care and healthy habits. Other minor risk factors include low hemoglobin and platelet count (Gong et al., 2018). In addition, being a male increases the chances of occurrence of the illness.

Furthermore, some of the factors that increase the risk of developing the heart disease are related to unhealthy lifestyle and behaviors. For example, it has been established that a high BMI, cigarette smoking, poor diet, and alcohol intake can lead to cardiovascular problems (Gong et al., 2018). The high BMI is associated with physical inactivity, which means that leading a sedentary life is a risk that should be avoided. Moreover, there are certain preexisting conditions that predispose people to the illness. A good example is the population of patients who are already suffering from diabetes due to predisposal to the heart disease compared to the general population (Gong et al., 2018). An effective intervention that is designed to prevent the disease should target the risk factors in order to safeguard the wellness of individuals who are vulnerable.

Morbidity and Mortality

Population aging is associated with an increase in morbidity of the heart disease. The rate of occurrence of the disease is estimated at 20 % (Metzger, 2017). More importantly, it is estimated that more than 70 % of the affected patients live within the community (Metzger, 2017). Some of the key factors indicating that the new incidents of the disease are likely to continue being reported include the tendency of the members of the contemporary society to lead a sedentary lifestyle, a high population of people abusing alcohol, and the general trend involving aging. This data on the morbidity justify the need to adopt prevention interventions that can protect the vulnerable communities.

Heart disease is among the leading causes of mortality globally, where the senior citizens are affected disproportionately. Statistics show that heart-related diseases claim about 17.6 million lives annually (Dugani et al., 2019). The high mortality rate is often observed in men and women who are aged and classified as senior citizens. Moreover, the mortality rate has increased by 19 %, which is a trend that is associated with the growth in the general population and the number of older adults (Dugani et al., 2019). The high mortality rate confirms the seriousness of the illness.

Description of the Intervention

The intervention that the target population will be educated on is based on the idea of adopting positive changes in their lifestyle. This will be comprised of an increase in physical activity and a healthy diet. The rationale behind the selection of the intervention is based on the fact that two lifestyle-related issues are among the risk factors for the illness (Gong et al., 2018). An effective intervention should be directed to prevention of the aforementioned factors (Gong et al., 2018). Learners will be educated about the risks associated with poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle.

Lack of effective therapy is an indication of the limited human understanding of the illness (Gong et al., 2018). A sedentary life subjects’ people to the risk of lifestyle illnesses (such as obesity and diabetes) that lead to heart-related problems. Patients can be treated with diet (Gong et al., 2018). The purpose of consumption of a healthy diet is to enhance the strength of the body, which improves the ability to protect itself from diseases. Vulnerable people should have information about these factors, which will be accomplished through education.

Goals and Objectives

Patient education is needed when managing a heart disease (Metzger, 2017). However, an effective education program should have clear goals. The program will seek to accomplish two major goals. The first one is to enhance the health literacy of the target population about the heart disease, its risk factors, and strategies to reduce its occurrence. The second goal is to empower older adults who are targeted by the program to take part in the disease management through equipment with the skills required for self-management. The main aim of the healthcare providers is to offer the best care as well as patient education (Metzger, 2017). These are interventions that enhance patient satisfaction.

The specific objectives support the goals of the presentation. The first objective is to ensure that the learners can describe the heart disease and at least three risk factors at the end of the lesson. The second one is to ensure that learners can describe the two components of change in lifestyle and how to practice the approaches at the end of the lesson. Education is a system level intervention for patient empowerment (Bravo et al., 2015). It is mainly intended to enhance self-efficacy of an individual (Bravo et al., 2015). Therefore, the realization of the two objectives will lead to empowerment of the learners and an improvement in the self-efficacy.

Lesson Plan

Overview or the Subject Matter

The lesson will address two important factors that are relevant to the target population of older adults aged above sixty-five years. First, the lesson will focus on educating older adults about the risk factors of heart disease. Secondly, learners will be educated about the association between lifestyle as well as behaviors and the risk of developing the heart disease.


At the end of the lesson, the learners should be able to do the following:

  • Describe the heart disease and at least three risk factors at the end of the lesson
  • Outline the two components of change in lifestyle and how to practice both approaches at the end of the lesson


  • PowerPoint presentation
  • Projector
  • A classroom
  • Funding


Step 1: Introduction

An introduction into the heart disease will be made. Its description as an economic burden on elderly persons (Danielsen et al., 2017) and the importance of learning more about the disease will be made. The objectives of the lesson will be highlighted. Signs and symptoms of the illness will be presented.

Step 2: Risk Factors, Morbidity, and Mortality

This part will include a discussion on the risk factors for heart disease that include age, low hemoglobin, and platelet count (Gong et al., 2018). Mortality and morbidity of the disease will be discussed. The prevalence of the illness will be discussed to show learners about the importance of preventing it.

Step 3: Lifestyle Change Intervention

The role of an intervention involving the quality diet and physical exercise in the prevention of cardiovascular problems will be presented. Learners will be taught about the healthy food options and exercise. Each recommendation will be appropriate to their age.


A summative type of evaluation will be conducted at the end of the lesson. Key areas targeted during the evaluation include learners’ understanding of heart disease, risk factors, mortality, and lifestyle intervention. The assessment quiz is as shown in the appendix.


Cardiovascular diseases are life-threatening. The disease affects older adults more than other age groups. This creates the need to enhance awareness among members of this vulnerable population. The risk of the occurrence of this medical problem can be minimized through the change in lifestyle.


  1. Bravo, P., Edwards, A., Barr, P., Scholl, I., Elwyn, G. & McAllister, M. (2015). Conceptual patient empowerment: a mixed methods study. BMC Health Services Research, 15, 1-14.
  2. Danielsen, R., Thorqeirsson, G., Einarsson, H., Olafsson, O., Aspelund, T., Harris, B. … Gudnason, V. (2017). Prevalence of heart failure in the elderly and future projections: the AGES-Reykjavik study. Scandinavian Cardiovascular Journal, 51(4), 183-189.
  3. Dugani, B., Melendez, A., Reka, R., Hydoub, M., McCafferty, N., Murad, M. … Mora, S. (2019). Risk factors associated with premature myocardial infarction: a systematic review protocol. BMJ Open, 9(2), 1-5.
  4. Glogowska, M., Simmonds, R., McLachlan, S., Cramer, H., Sanders, T., Johnson, R. … Purdy, S. (2015). Managing patients with heart failure: a qualitative study of multidisciplinary teams with specialist heart failure nurses. Annals of Family Medicine, 13(5), 466-471.
  5. Gong, F., Jelinek, V., Castro, M., Coller, M., McGrady, M., Boffa, U. … Campbell, J. (2018). Risk factors for incident heart failure with preserved or reduced ejection fraction, and valvular heart failure, in a community-based cohort. Open Heart, 5(2), 1-11.
  6. Metzger, M. (2017). Are patients satisfied with telehealth in home health care? A quantitative research study in congestive heart failure patients. SM Gerontology and Geriatric Research, 1(2), 1-6.

Appendix: Quiz

1). Which of the following is a sign of heart disease?

a). Chest tightness

b). Shortness of breath

c). Pain in the jaw

d). All

2). Which of the following is not a risk factor for heart disease?

a). Age

b). Diabetes

c). Physical inactivity

d). Level of education

3). Which of the following behaviors cannot prevent heart disease?

a). Watching TV

b). Running

c). Eating fruits and vegetables

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