Background: Patients with heart failure suffer from poor health outcomes and require combinations of medications to treat their disease. Providing patients with knowledge through education is one mechanism to help them improve compliance with complicated treatment regimens.
Methods: We developed and tested two instruments. The first instrument, which we call the measure of educational material acceptability (EMA), was designed to help us differentiate between written educational materials according to patients' subjective responses. The second instrument, the knowledge acquisition questionnaire (KAQ), which measures knowledge gained, was designed to determine whether patients understand the rationale and mechanics of their heart failure management. We explored the measurement properties of both instruments.
Results: The internal consistency of the EMA was 0.79 (Cronbach's alpha). The internal consistency of the KAQ was 0.61 and its responsiveness, measured using change scores of knowledge before and after an educational intervention, was 0.75.
Conclusions: We have developed instruments that measure acceptability and knowledge acquisition, and that clinicians and investigators involved in heart failure programs may find useful in developing educational material and measuring the impact of their interventions on patients' knowledge.