Background: There are increasing opportunities for MI patients to attend lay-led, community based generic self-management programmes via self-referral.
Aims: To determine the effectiveness of the Expert Patient Programme (EPP) for MI patients who had completed CR using a randomised controlled, wait-list design, with a nested qualitative study.
Methods: The Intervention Group attends the EPP immediately after completing the baseline assessment; The Control Group had the opportunity to attend the EPP after completion of the 4-month follow-up. 192 MI patients (72% men) completed baseline assessment; 162 responded at follow-up. Telephone interviews were conducted with 10 male and 9 female Intervention group participants.
Results: Intention-to-treat analysis revealed no statistically significant differences between the groups although a pattern of small improvements among the Intervention Group was observed over time. Interviews revealed that Intervention Group participants viewed CR as being more about instruction whereas the EPP was viewed as being more about discussion, mutual support, and goal setting. A gender difference emerged whereby male participants valued information exchange whereas female participants expressed a preference for emotional support and social interaction within the EPP context.
Conclusion: The EPP appears to hold few benefits for MI patients who have attended CR.