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Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/JCN.0b013e3181a1c236

"Others Had Similar Problems and You Were Not Alone": Evaluation of an Open-Group Mutual Aid Model in Cardiac Rehabilitation

Arndt, Maryse BAppSc(OT); Murchie, Fiona BA(Syd), BSW(Syd); Schembri, Anthony M. GradDipPubAdmin MPP (USyd), BSW(UNSW), MAASW(Acc); Davidson, Patricia M. PhD, MEd, RN, ITC, FRCNA

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Background: Dealing with psychological and social issues is an important aspect of comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation (CR) programs.

Study aim: This study aims to evaluate the use of an open-group mutual aid model facilitated by a social worker and occupational therapist in a secondary prevention CR program.

Method: A mixed-method study, using questionnaires, focus group data, and reflective interviews of group facilitators, was used to evaluate the program.

Study findings: Key themes emerging from this study were (1) the need for provision of hope; (2) a desire for structure and support; (3) appreciation of support of fellow group participants; and (4) the need for individuals to review, process, and interpret their illness trajectory.

Conclusions: In this single site study, an open-group model using a mutual aid model was acceptable and helpful as a method to facilitate adjustment after an acute cardiac event. Further evaluation of this approach using experimental methods is warranted.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


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