An act of courage: women's decision-making processes regarding outpatient cardiac rehabilitation attendance

Rehabil Nurs. Jul-Aug 2001;26(4):132-40. doi: 10.1002/j.2048-7940.2001.tb01935.x.


The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe the factors that affect women's attendance and adherence to a cardiac rehabilitation (CR) program after a myocardial infarction (MI). We used in-depth interviews and a health survey form to collect data. The purposive sample consisted of 40 women who had experienced a first MI within the previous 6 weeks to 12 months. Of those 40, 18 women were not offered the program, 8 declined it, and 14 attended. Using content analysis and constant comparison, we identified three distinct phases: "initial decision," "CR attendance," and "reevaluation." Four data clusters positively influenced the continuation of CR attendance: "Psychological Appraisal," "Program Components," "Staff Behaviors," and "Outcomes." When women encountered a fifth cluster--"Barriers"--they entered the reevaluation phase. Results of this study support specific interventions for each phase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation*
  • Decision Making*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance