A descriptive, correlational approach was used to examine the relationship between success with a recommended cardiac lifestyle and satisfaction with a cardiac rehabilitation programme 1 year following completion The Cardiac Lifestyle Questionnaire (CLQ) and the Programme Satisfaction Questionnaire (PSQ) evaluated success in eight lifestyle dimensions and four satisfaction areas Seventy-two participants (85 7%) returned questionnaires Successful lifestyle dimensions included exercise, tobacco, alcohol and weight, diet, stress and hypertension were unsuccessful Two open-ended programme satisfaction questions revealed that ‘caring’ and ‘individualized’ approaches were most favoured by participants These provide direction for high-quality care in cardiac rehabilitation programmes Discriminant analysis did not yield a statistically significant separation of groups relative to cardiac lifestyle on the basis of programme satisfaction areas