Self-care Demands of Patients with Implantable Left Ventricular Assist Devices.

Heart failure (HF) is a growing public health problem affecting approximately 23 million people worldwide. Treatment options for advanced HF patients have moved beyond pharmacologic therapy to include left-ventricular assist devices (LVADs). Patients with an LVAD must manage a complex regimen of care. This article proposes the use of self-care deficit nursing theory (SCDNT) as a framework to identify and organize the care needs of patients with an LVAD from a nursing perspective. Within SCDNT, self-care refers to actions designed to meet self-care requisites to achieve regulatory goals. When formalized, self-care requisites have two components: the general action to be taken and a "factor" to be controlled. The reformulation of health-deviation self-care requisites common to LVAD patients are presented and may serve as an exemplar for other technology-assisted living situations. The strengths and limitations of using the SCDNT for patients with such complex needs, as well as implications for clinical practice, research, and advancement of nursing science, are examined.