The Impact of Health Partner Participation in Cardiac Rehabilitation on Health Partner Knowledge of Cardiac Disease Risk Factors
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Background: Cardiac disease remains the top cause of mortality and morbidity in the United States. In order to achieve optimal long-term outcomes, people who have experienced an acute cardiac event must undergo several lifestyle and behavioral changes. With the importance of social support on health, it is equally important for a person’s identified health partner to learn the recommended lifestyle changes that promote good health in post-acute cardiac patients. Many of these behaviors can be learned through participation in a cardiac rehabilitation program, but few studies have been performed on the benefits that a spouse receives from attending cardiac rehabilitation programs.
Objective: The purpose of this investigation was to determine if spousal participation in a cardiac rehabilitation program increased knowledge of cardiac disease risk factors and lifestyle changes required in post-acute cardiac patients.
Methods: A quasi-experimental investigation utilizing a pre-test/post-test design was used to assess health partner knowledge of cardiac recommendations. The Heart Disease Fact Questionnaire was used for both pre-test and post-test. It is theorized that health partners who attend cardiac rehabilitation will have increased knowledge of cardiac disease risk factors and lifestyle changes required for post-acute cardiac patients.
Results: Due to a smaller than anticipated sample size, no statistical analysis was able to be performed. The single participant in the project did have a 35% increase in their post-test score after 12 sessions of cardiac rehabilitation.
Conclusions: While few conclusions can be drawn from this project, there is some evidence that indicates further investigations into this subject is warranted.
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