Main Article Content
Introduction: In the occidental world, heart valve disease, mainly degenerative, is increasing with a higher rate of cardiac valve prosthesis implantation. Health literacy can impact health outcomes. The aim of this study was to understand in patients with cardiac valve prosthesis the patterns of knowledge regarding their own valve’s pathology, related complications, and their current multidisciplinary medical surveillance.
Methods: Cross-sectional study on a group of patients with cardiac valve prosthesis, consisting of a 13-question instrument application (demographic, medical surveillance, medical background, and prosthesis related complications).
Results: Fifty two patients completed the questionnaire, 48% male, 67.2±12.3 years old. A percentage of 88% had a mechanical valve. A total of 63% reported caries and periodontal disease. A percentage 48% could not identify the reason for valve replacement and 19% could not identify the location for the prosthesis. The majority had regular cardiological surveillance. Nevertheless, anual dental surveillance was only present in 38% of the inquired patients. Finally, 70% of patients could not identify one single prosthesis related complication.
Conclusion: Further studies, involving several centres in different regions of Portugal are needed to further understand or confirm the described situation. Patient’s education is fundamental to improve health literacy with an impact on health outcomes.