Perceiving one's heart condition to be cured following hospitalization for acute coronary syndromes: Implications for patient-provider communication

Patient Educ Couns. 2016 Mar;99(3):455-461. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2015.10.007. Epub 2015 Oct 23.


Objective: We examined the proportion of patients perceiving their heart condition to be cured following hospitalization for ACS and identified characteristics associated with these perceptions.

Methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study of adults hospitalized with ACS (N=396). Patient interviews during hospitalization and one week post-discharge provided demographic and psychosocial characteristics. Medical records provided clinical characteristics. At one week, patients who rated "My heart condition is cured" as "definitely true" or "mostly true" were considered to perceive their heart condition cured.

Results: Participants were aged 60.7 (SD:11.0) years, 26.5% female, and 89.0% non-Hispanic white; 16.7% had unstable angina, 59.6% NSTEMI, and 23.7% STEMI. One week post-discharge, 30.3% perceived their heart condition to be cured. Characteristics associated with cure perceptions were older age (OR=2.2; 95% CI: 1.2-4.0 for ≥65 years vs <55 years), male sex (OR=2.4; 95%CI: 1.3-4.2), history of hypertension (OR=1.8; 95%CI: 1.1-3.1), history of stroke (OR=4.2; 95%CI: 1.1-16.7), no history of CHD (OR=2.8; 95%CI: 1.6-4.9), and receipt of CABG during hospitalization (OR=4.8, 95%CI: 1.9-12.0 vs medical management).

Conclusion: One week post-discharge, 3 in 10 patients perceived their heart condition to be cured.

Practice implications: Conversations with patients should frame ACS as a chronic disease and dispel cure perceptions.

Keywords: Acute coronary syndromes; Cure perceptions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / psychology*
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / therapy
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Inpatients / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Perception*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life / psychology