An acute coronary syndrome is defined as a “sudden onset of myocardial ischemia which results in myocardial death, that is, a myocardial infarction.” (Citation) A myocardial infarction occurs when the blood flow is reduced in a coronary artery, usually due to excessive plaque, which results in a complete occlusion of the artery. Cardiac rehabilitation is an important aspect of continuity of care after a patient who has recently experienced a myocardial infarction is free of symptoms. A major goal of cardiac rehabilitation is to improve and extend quality of life.
The purpose of this study was “to evaluate whether an expanded cardiac rehabilitation program, intended to alter patient’s lifestyle, could decrease cardiac events as compared to standard cardiac rehabilitation during a five-year period” (Plüss, et al., 2011). The purpose statement indirectly expressed a relationship between two independent variables and one dependent variable. The two independent variables in this study were an extended cardiac rehabilitation program and a standard cardiac rehabilitation program. The dependent variable was a decrease in cardiovascular events.
Review of the Literature
Throughout the years, there have been many studies outlining the importance of cardiac rehabilitation and its role in reducing risk factors that predispose individuals to cardiovascular complications. However, these studies and the guidelines previously proposed are mainly based on small studies which included young men with a low risk of experiencing a myocardial infarction. Furthermore, there have been few randomized, controlled studies conducted to evaluate the effects of cardiac rehabilitation on cardiovascular morbidity.
According to the authors, “A significant gap exists between proven healthy lifestyle and the actual lifestyle of the majority of patients” (Plüss, et al., 2011). If this gap was reduced, there would be a significant reduction in the amount of deaths due to cardiovascular events. The researchers strongly believe that in order to reduce this gap, patients have to learn positive lifestyle behaviors. The authors sought to focus their study on an interactive learning approach which would center on behavioral changes. The key concepts included within the literature were exercise training, risk factor management, patient education, clinical assessment, and psychosocial support. The references cited by the authors were mostly primary sources.
The hypothesis was clearly stated, testable, and easy to locate. It was presented as a directional hypothesis. The hypothesis predicted that patients who participate in an extended rehabilitation program, which focuses on adult learning and lifestyle changes, will reduce their probability of experiencing future cardiovascular events. The hypothesis helped build a lucid and swaying argument for a new study. There is a limited amount of studies evaluating the effects of using...