Sodium Watcher Program for Adults with Heart Failure

Grants and Contracts Details


In the 1990s, heart failure (HF) emerged as a significant public health threat and reached epidemic proportions. Despite advances in medical treatment of HF, the prognosis of patients with HF remains poor. Poor self-management such as failure to follow a sodium restricted diet is the main predictor of rehospitalization for an acute exacerbation in HF patients and non-adherence to a sodium restricted diet remains high. Numerous self-management education interventions have focused on improving knowledge about the sodium restricted diet with limited success. A major unaddressed issue is teaching patients to follow a low sodium diet by helping them learn to easily monitor their salt intake, and helping them cope with the perception of poor palatability of low sodium foods. It is possible to "retrain" the taste buds to enjoy low salt foods by gradually reducing the amount of sodium in foods over the course of two months. The Sodium Watcher Program (SWaP) proposed in this study is designed to improve adherence to sodium restricted diet in patients with HF using education about monitoring and gradual progressive adaptation to low sodium food using a unique electronic sodium monitoring device that easily assesses the sodium content in food. The purpose of this 2-group randomized controlled repeated measures (baseline, 2-month, and 4-month) study is to examine effects of SWaP on patients' adherence to sodium restricted diet and symptom distress. A total of 60 patients with HF who are non-adherent to sodium restricted diet (as determined by assessment of 24-hour urinary sodium excretion> 3000mg during baseline) will be randomly assigned to one of 2 groups: 1) SWaP intervention (two 60-minute home visits followed by 4 weekly 15-minute phone calls) group, or 2) a usual care control group. Participants will complete questionnaires (self-reported adherence, and symptom distress) and 24-hour urine collection at each assessment. Data will be analyzed using repeated measured AN OVA. The result of this pilot study will provide preliminary data for a proposal that will be submitted to NIH (R01) and other highly competitive national grants.
Effective start/end date1/1/0912/31/10


  • American Heart Association: $78,097.00


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