Improving recovery following cardiac surgery: a randomized clinical trial*


  • *

    Portions or this paper were presented at the 5th Annual Scientific Sessions for Nursing of the San Francisco Heart Association, February 1987 and the Sigma Theta Tau Inlernalional Nursing Research Meeting. July 1987.

Professor Susan R. Gortner. Room N411 -Y. Department of Family Health Care Nursing, School of Nursing. University of California, San Francisco, California 94143. USA.


To enhance individual and family health during recovery from heart surgery, this study employed nursing interventions based on self-efficacy and family stress theory during the hospitalization period and for 3 months thereafter. The effectiveness of the interventions were assessed through a randomized trial in which 67 prospective bypass and valve surgery patients, aged 30-77 years, and their spouses, were allocated either the experimental interventions or usual care and followed for 6 months. At 3 months post-surgery, the only statistically significant differences between the experimentals and controls were on perceived self-efficacy for lifting and tolerating emotional distress. At 6 months no significant differences were found on individual or family measures. Analyses revealed that age, gender and preoperative cardiac status significantly affected individual recovery. The study is continuing with a larger sample in order to explicate the recovery process and to better determine whether a low intensity nursing intervention can effect changes in individual and family recovery.