• access to care;
  • cardiovascular;
  • health services research;
  • program evaluation;
  • rural


Purpose: The purpose of this pilot study was to describe the needs and experiences of rural individuals commuting to an urban center for percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

Methods: Data were analyzed from a “Patient Adherence and Satisfaction Survey” conducted by telephone as part of a quality improvement focus, and supplemented with in-depth semi-structured interviews with rural patients following PCI.

Findings: Both urban and rural patients after PCI experienced few complications, had made some attempts to reduce tobacco usage, and were highly satisfied with explanations of their treatment and their overall treatment experience. Patients in rural settings were more likely to experience chest pain at least rarely following their surgery than people in urban settings (P < .05). Data on participation in cardiac rehabilitation (CR) showed no significant differences between urban and rural dwellers. Four themes emerged from the interviews: standards of care during treatment; transportation; local resources and community support; and lifestyle changes. Although patients were highly satisfied with standards of care during acute treatment, there were unmet needs in relation to transportation and lifestyle changes.

Conclusion: Transitions between rural communities and urban centers and rural adaptations of secondary prevention programs require more attention in health service delivery. Further research is required to better understand potential variations in chest pain patterns between urban and rural residents.