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Self-care is critical for postdischarge heart failure (HF) patients. Short message service (SMS) is a promising way to promote HF self-care.The aim of this study is to investigate knowledge status in Chinese HF patients, as well as the acceptance of SMS as a way to improve self-care.A survey using a self-developed questionnaire was conducted in patients with decompensated HF 2 days before discharge.A total of 540 patients completed the survey. Among them, only 69.8% and 63.3% of patients were aware of their HF status and medication regimen, respectively. A total of 95.6% patients were willing to receive SMS. Patient himself/herself, caregiver, or both patient and caregiver were almost equally selected as the preferred receiver of SMS. Educational and/or reminder SMS was considered “very helpful” by 50.2% of the patients as a way of promoting self-care, similar to that of telephone education and brochure education. “Take your medicine”, “avoid getting flu,” and “keep follow-up” were regarded as the most important self-care contents, whereas “weigh yourself every day” and “restrict fluid intake” were considered the least important.As a way of promoting HF self-care, SMS intervention combining educational and reminder function might be well accepted by HF patients in China. The status of HF, medication, weight control, and fluid restriction should be emphasized during the practice. Caution should be drawn as the survey was not tested elsewhere. Further clinical trials would be conducted to examine the effect of SMS intervention on self-care behaviors and outcomes of HF patients.