Exploring timing and delivery of lifestyle advice following an acute cardiac event hospitalization: The cardiac patient's perspective

Michelle Brust*, Winifred A. Gebhardt, Nienke ter Hoeve, Mattijs E. Numans, Jessica C. Kiefte-de Jong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Objective: To explore the perspective of cardiac patients regarding the timing and manner of delivering lifestyle advice following an acute cardiac event hospitalization. Methods: Dutch cardiac patients who experienced a cardiac event hospitalization participated in a semi-structured interview (n = 14) or a cross-sectional survey study (n = 119). Results: Our findings indicate that cardiac patients are receptive to lifestyle advice throughout the care trajectory. Advice delivered by a cardiologist had the highest self-reported impact. Furthermore, receiving advice at multiple phases during the care trajectory was associated with a greater intention to change lifestyle (B = 0.37, CI = 0.17 – 0.57). Patients favored clear-cut, feasible, and friendly but confronting advice. Moreover, they stressed the importance of advice being aligned with their identity and beliefs about the causes of their disease. Conclusion: The period following an acute cardiac event provides a unique opportunity to offer tailored and patient-centered lifestyle advice. This “teachable window” for lifestyle change, when used wisely, may improve health outcomes for cardiac patients. Practice Implications: Healthcare professionals should initiate lifestyle advice already during hospitalization and continue during follow-up appointments and cardiac rehabilitation. Advice should be feasible and empathy-based, as well as tailored to the patient's needs, values, and perceptions of the causes of their cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108279
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2024

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