Roger Watson, Editor
Not all patients are able to attend hospital after a myocardial infarction for rehabilitation, and programmes have been designed to enable them to undertake rehabilitation at home. This study from Australia by Frohmader et al. (2015) titled: 'Patient perceptions of nurse mentors facilitating the Aussie Heart Guide: A home-based cardiac rehabilitation programme for rural patients' and published in Nursing Open was designed to: 'To explore and describe long-term thoughts and perceptions of the Aussie Heart Guide Programme including the role of the mentor, held by patients recovering from myocardial infarction.'
The research was carried out by interviewing 13 patients at home by telephone once they had completed the programme. Views were generally positive and, in the words of one participant: 'I live a long way from the city. I do not go to the local doctor much. I am very isolated. The mentor helped me cope after being discharged from hospital.' In terms of support, one patient said: 'I was really down in the dumps for about 3 months after my heart attack. I’m not sure if it was because I went through a lot in hospital or because of my age but I found the mentor phone calls to help somewhat.'
In conclusion the authors say: 'The findings from this study support the provision of the Aussie Heart Guide Programme as a home-based self-help programme for patients recovering from MI who find it geographically difficult to attend hospital-based cardiac rehabilitiation programs' and: 'Mentors were perceived to be integral to the success of the programme through the provision of timely information, ongoing psychosocial support and lifestyle advice to patients during their recovery from myocardial infarction.'
Frohmader TJ, Lin F, Chaboyer W (2015) Patient perceptions of nurse mentors facilitating the Aussie Heart Guide: A home-based cardiac rehabilitation programme for rural patients. Nursing Open doi: 10.1002/nop2.34