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University of Stirling



Cardiac Misconceptions in Hospital Staff (Published Abstract)

Angus NJ, Patience F, Maclean E, Corrigall H & Leslie S (2009) Cardiac Misconceptions in Hospital Staff (Published Abstract). European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 8 (1 Supplement 1), pp. S40-S40.

Background: There are approximately 2 million people with chronic stable angina in the UK many remaining symptomatic despite medical therapy. Patient's beliefs about their condition can influence symptoms and effective rehabilitation and cardiac misconceptions may have a detrimental effect on frequency of angina and functional status. Misconceptions may originate in a patient's preconceived ideas about their condition or come from well meaning friends and family. Cardiac misconceptions may be worsened by inconsistent advice from health care staff. Inexperienced and non-specialist nurses may have more cardiac misconceptions while the cardiac beliefs of doctors are not known. An accurate and consistent approach to patient information is important especially as cardiac patients are often treated on general medical wards. Purpose: The study aimed to determine if staff caring for cardiac patients had misconceptions that could be potentially damaging to recovery. Methods: Staff (n=157) providing inpatient care for cardiac patients completed the "York Angina Beliefs Questionnaire" a sensitive tool for eliciting cardiac misconceptions. This questionnaire is part of the Angina Plan a brief cognitive behavioural intervention for patients suffering from angina. A cohort of primary school teachers were used as a control group (n=20). Data are presented as (mean ± SEM) and analysed using Student's t-test. Results: On average, doctors had the lowest cardiac misconception score and medical students had the highest (19.2±1.9 vs 27.0±2.0, p<0.0001). Primary school teachers (n=20) had slightly lower scores than either nursing students or 5th year medical students although this was not statistically significant (26.1±1.7 vs 27.0±2.0 and 26.2±1.0 respectively). Scores within staff varied considerably depending on ward and previous education in cardiac rehabilitation. Coronary care nurses with previous cardiac rehabilitation training had the lowest over-all scores (17.1±2.1). Conclusions: Cardiac misconceptions are common in hospital staff and variable within staff groups. As expected staff who care for cardiac patients have lower misconceptions than students or a control group of non health care professionals (primary school teachers) who had similar levels of cardiac misconception. This suggests that the education of medical and nursing students is sub-optimal in this area. Given that both nursing and medical students access patients, this could be detrimental. More effort should be put into ensuring that students and staff have consistent and correct cardiac knowledge.

European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing: Volume 8, Issue 1 Supplement 1

Author(s)Angus, Neil J; Patience, Fiona; Maclean, Elizabeth; Corrigall, Helen; Leslie, Stephen
Publication date30/04/2009
PublisherSAGE Publications
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