Patients' perceptions of their education needs in the first six weeks following discharge after cardiac surgery

J Adv Nurs. 1997 Jun;25(6):1241-51. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2648.1997.19970251241.x.


The aim of this study was to discover what information and support patients feel they need in the 6-week rehabilitation period following discharge after cardiac surgery. It was undertaken at the request of the hospital multidisciplinary cardiac rehabilitation team to enable them to plan a package of information to meet those needs. It was a local study aiming to gain insight into the patients' own views by asking them to keep a diary over the 6-week period and then take part in an unstructured interview when they returned for their 6-week out-patient appointment. The analysis of the respondents' comments gave an insight into their whole experience of the first 6 weeks following discharge. The themes which emerged were wide-ranging and were grouped under the headings of the early discharge needs of pain relief and sleep promotion, psychological needs, practical needs and community support. To take the study forward, several recommendations were made to improve the rehabilitation experience. These included additions to the literature and patient education sessions, and changes to ensure a smoother transition into the community. The findings also suggest the need for improvements in and further research into the whole area of the psychological preparation for discharge after cardiac surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Aftercare*
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / rehabilitation*
  • Diet
  • Drug Therapy
  • Exercise
  • Health Services Needs and Demand*
  • Humans
  • London
  • Pain, Postoperative
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders
  • Social Support