One hundred three first-time myocardial infarction (MI) patients were randomly assigned to either an experimental or a control condition. Patients completed a cardiac rehabilitation program during hospitalization ad were interviewed to assess intentions to follow regimen prescriptions, attitudes toward the prescriptions, coping methods, and he perceived beliefs of others concerning their intentions. Patients were visited at home 30 days after discharge and reassessed on each of the above variables except that their behavior was substituted for intentions and societal adjustment was assessed. The experimental group was given an intervention program which included a discussion of assessment data, identification of problems, and establishment of goals. The assessment was repeated 60 days after discharge. No differences were found between experimental and control groups for either medical regimen adherence or societal adjustment. There was a significant decrease in mean scores for all variables from hospital to 30 days for both groups, but no change from 30 to 60 days. Attitudes and perceived beliefs of others were predictive of adherence, and it was concluded that these variables need to be included in any rehabilitation program.
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