Evaluation of the heart to heart cardiac education program from the participant's perspective

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Perron, Allan Joseph
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This pre-experimental one group pre-test post-test descriptive study evaluated, from the participant's perspective, the National Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada's Heart to Heart cardiac education program. Overall goals involve enhancing knowledge about coronary disease and associated risk factors as well as promoting behavioral change to effect a reduction in these factors and as a consequence a reduction in morbidity. Data were collected from participants attending programs held in three City of Winnipeg hospitals and two rural facilities. Self administered questionnaires were given to ninety-seven participants and sixty five participants at two time intervals: (1) at the beginning of the first two hour class (T1) and (2) to those participants who attended the last class of the eight week program (T2). The Multidimensional Health Locus of Control construct was studied as an independent variable to determine if the program differentially effected knowledge gain of participants with an internal versus external locus of control. There were significant differences in knowledge gain for patients and their partners between the two testing times p = 0.001 and p = 0.0001. Participant's locus of control and educational level were not predictive of knowledge gain, however partners fifty-nine years or older showed greater knowledge gain than their younger counterparts, p = 0.0324. A significant portion of participants reported modifying life style behaviours due to the information and support provided by the program. Overall participant satisfaction was high, particularly in respect to the role of the facilitator and group support. Participants recommended the program be promoted by physicians and available to all patients suffering from "heart problems" and their partners. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)