This paper describes the planning and implementation of an individualized teaching programme for patients and their families following primary uncomplicated myocardial infarction. This preliminary study was designed and implemented by a senior nurse while working in the clinical area. Patients were randomly allocated to a control or study group. Both groups of patients were interviewed on the fourth day following admission to hospital and again at 2 and 6 months after discharge. Nurse intervention in the form of individually planned consecutive teaching sessions achieved a reduction in anxiety and modification of identifiable risk factors (smoking, obesity, diet, exercise) in the patients included in the teaching programme.