• actigraphy;
  • control group;
  • coronary artery disease;
  • health;
  • nursing;
  • pretest–post-test design;
  • self-care;
  • sleep diary;
  • sleep-activity

Aims and objectives

To evaluate the effectiveness of an individualised programme to promote self-care in sleep-activity in patients with coronary artery disease.


Recent scientific findings have shown that low physical exercise and stress interfere with coronary artery disease patients' sleep quality and sleep efficiency independent of gender, age and co-morbidity.


A randomised pretest–post-test control design.


Forty-seven patients who had undergone a coronary revascularisation procedure and/or pharmacological treatment three to seven weeks earlier at a general hospital were randomised to either an intervention group or a control group. Data collection was carried out by questionnaires, a study-specific sleep diary and actigraphy registration for 10 consecutive 24-hour periods, with a follow-up after three to four months. The intervention group underwent a nurse-led individualised education programme to promote self-care of sleep-activity. Sleep habits and sleep-related lifestyle together formed the basis for setting up individual goals together with the nurse. Individual advice on physical training, relaxation exercise and a CD-based relaxation programme was provided by a physiotherapist. Both groups received a brochure about sleep and stress.


At a three- to four-month follow-up, the main improvements were seen in the intervention group regarding sleep quality, sleep duration and sleep efficiency in the sleep diary and sleep efficiency in actigraphy. Statistical improvements in health-related quality of life were revealed. This was not so obvious in the control group.


An individualised intervention programme to promote self-care of sleep-activity including relaxation in patients with coronary artery disease led by a nurse may improve sleep quality. However, a longitudinal study to promote self-care in sleep-activity should be performed using a larger sample and multiple sites with continuous follow-ups to determine whether any positive effects remain stable over time.

Relevance to clinical practice

Implementation of a multiprofessional individualised programme to promote self-care of sleep-activity including relaxation based on patients' needs, supported by a healthcare team and led by nurses, is important in clinical practice.