Taking medication as directed and even a change in diet and exercise can bring positive results, but experts say anywhere from 30 to 60 percent of people don't follow this advice.
Researchers from Rush University Medical Center wanted to know if teaching self management along with education about the disease would help.
Results of a new study found it really didn't make a big difference for the majority of patients with mild to moderate heart failure.
What the research the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) did find is that certain subgroups did benefit.
Researchers told JAMA: "Self management counseling actually had a benefit for the low income patients and education actually had a benefit for the high income patients."
Researchers say the next step is the study the effect of tailoring treatment based on the economic status of patients.