Nurse involvement in cardiac rehabilitation prior to hospital discharge

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SummaryInterviews were undertaken with 202 men admitted to five hospitals in northeast England following an uncomplicated first myocardial infarction. The likelihood of patients speaking to a nurse about recovery or seeing a physiotherapist, dietician or specialist rehabilitation nurse, varied considerably between hospitals.Whilst virtually all patients received written information concerning some aspect of life-style change or cardiac rehabilitation, the quality and range of information, particularly with regard to information about stress or anxiety, was frequently limited.Instructions about seeing a general practitioner following discharge were often vague; formal rehabilitation programmes, where they existed, excluded some patients.The study suggests that much patient education is dependent on the provision of written information alone, and that further evaluation of the effectiveness of self-help material supported by nursing input is desirable.

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