Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Sharon Leech Hofland


As managed health care develops and hospital budgets become tighter, myocardial infarction (Ml) patients are experiencing shorter lengths of hospital stays and less one-on-one time with professional nurses. As a result of these changes, it is important for acute care nurses to know what type of cardiac content should be taught in the hospital and what should be taught during the postdischarge period in cardiac rehabilitation classes. This study, using a nonexperimental approach that is descriptive and comparative, investigated a nonrandom sample of thirty post-MI subjects' perceptions using the modified Cardiac Patient Learning Needs Inventory (CPLNI) developed by Gerard and Peterson (1984). The study analyzed the importance of seven cardiac content areas: anatomy and physiology, psychological factors, risk factors, medications, diet, physical activity, as well as other cardiac information. The most appropriate time period to receive each of the cardiac content areas, during the hospital stay or in cardiac rehabilitation classes, was also analyzed. The objectives of the study were statistically analyzed with the analysis of the variance (ANOVA) using the General Linear Models Procedure Least Square Means and the chi-square test, in addition to descriptive percentages and means. Results of the study indicate that subjects perceived all seven cardiac content areas as important to learn. However, they perceived learning about anatomy and physiology, risk factors, and physical activity to be the most important. Cardiac content perceived as not as important to learn included content relating to physiology or disease process, psychological factors, and meanings of terms. Most of the cardiac content that subjects preferred to be taught during the hospital stay was information the subjects also perceived as very important to learn. This content may have been perceived as central to immediate survival following hospital discharge. Some of the cardiac content that was preferred taught during the hospital stay included "Reason for chest pain," "What happens when I have a heart attack," "Signs and symptoms of angina and a heart attack," and medication information. In contrast, the cardiac content preferred taught in cardiac rehabilitation classes tended to require lifelong learning, such as risk factor content, physiology or disease process content, psychological factors content, and diet content. Significant differences were found between gender and age of subjects relating to the importance and placement of teaching of the seven cardiac content areas. Females age 45-64 perceived risk factor content more important than did males age 65-84. Males age -65-84 perceived medication and physical activity content as less important than the other age and gender groups. Subjects age 45-64 preferred that anatomy and physiology content and physical activity content be taught during the hospital stay, whereas, subjects age 65-84 preferred this content be taught in cardiac rehabilitation classes. Staff nurses should be encouraged to provide cardiac education on content that is important for patients to know for immediate survival after hospital discharge. This content should be taught during the hospital stay, because subjects preferred that this cardiac content be taught at that time (during the hospital stay). Formalized teaching programs should be developed for use within the hospital setting to ensure consistent teaching for all post-MI patients. Because subjects preferred to be taught a major portion of cardiac content in cardiac rehabilitation classes, physicians should be encouraged to recommend these classes to their post-MI patients. Cardiac rehabilitation nurse educators should modify their programs to include the information most preferred taught in cardiac rehabilitation classes. Cardiac rehabilitation nurse educators should also provide several options for the delivery of this content to best meet the individual needs of the patients.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Heart -- Diseases -- Patients -- Rehabilitation
Patient education




South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright