Is an individualized educational intervention more effective in enhancing risk factor awareness in a population of people with coronary artery disease?
Schaefer, Margaret Frevert
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Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in males in the United States and the leading cause of death in females over the age of fifty. It is largely a preventable disease with several risk factors being linked to life styles that could either be modified or indeed changed completely in order to prevent its occurrence or at least slow its progression. The problem lies in determining the best way to educate the general population with regard to the risk factors for coronary artery disease or as in secondary prevention, educating those who already have the diagnosis, so that they recognize their own risk factors, maybe modify them and thus have a better chance to decrease their own morbidity and mortality from this disease. There have been many approaches documented in the literature that have investigated a variety of educational intervention techniques. The current study is in regard to whether or not an individualized approach to education could be more successful in creating an awareness of the risk factors for coronary artery disease, in patients who already have the diagnosis. A pre and post questionnaire was used to assess the knowledge level of participants who either watched an educational video alone or watched the video followed by a period of ten minutes one on one time with a registered nurse. The results from this study indicate that there is no significant improvement in the knowledge of risk factors for coronary artery disease in individuals who were given ten minutes one on one time with an RN over those who simply watched the educational video on CAD risk factors. The conclusion then is that even given the limitations of the study, it is likely that in order to be successful in communicating the risks of coronary artery disease to people who already have this diagnosis the intervention needs to be more substantial. In addition it is discussed as to whether or not a knowledge deficit is in fact the primary obstacle and that the focus in halting disease progression should be on life style change motivation.