Intention, beliefs and mood assessed using electronic diaries predicts attendance at cardiac rehabilitation: An observational study

Martyn C Jones, Karen Smith, Oliver Herber, Myra White, Fiona Steele, Derek W. Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
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BACKGROUND: Cardiac rehabilitationis effective in promoting physical/psychological recovery following acute coronary syndrome. Yet, rates of attendance at outpatient cardiac rehabilitation by eligible patients are low.

OBJECTIVES: This study examined the determinants of attendance at outpatient cardiac rehabilitation in acute coronary syndrome patients following discharge until cardiac rehabilitation commencement.

DESIGN: A weekly electronic diary measured cardiac-related cognitions and mood and examined their relation to attendance at outpatient cardiac rehabilitation.

SETTINGS: Three United Kingdom National Health Service secondary care settings in two Health Board areas in Scotland.

PARTICIPANTS: Acute coronary syndrome patients were recruited from March 2012 to June 2013 prior to hospital discharge. Of 488 eligible patients referred for cardiac rehabilitation, 214 consented.

METHODS: Consecutive patients completed a pre-hospital discharge questionnaire targeting age, diagnosis, social class and smoking history. Acute coronary syndrome patients then completed a weekly electronic diary from the first week of discharge until the start of cardiac rehabilitation. Multilevel structural equation models estimated the effects of initial, i.e. baseline and rate of change in cardiac-related cognition and mood on attendance. Intention to attend cardiac rehabilitation was reflected, log transformed, reported thereafter as "do not intend". The role of "do not intend" was explored as a mediator of the relationship between cardiac-related cognition and mood on attendance.

RESULTS: 166 participants provided, on average, 5 weeks of diary entries before cardiac rehabilitation commenced. High intention (i.e. low "do not intend") to attend CR and its rate of increase over time predicted attendance. Low negative emotional representation, high perceived necessity, high confidence in maintaining function, low negative affect, and high positive affect following discharge predicted attendance at cardiac rehabilitation. The rate of change in cardiac-related mood and these cognitions was not predictive. Baseline and rate of change in "do not intend" entirely mediated relationships between a) perceived necessity, b) negative affect and attendance at cardiac rehabilitation.

CONCLUSIONS: Negative affect in the first weeks following discharge represents the key challenge to a patient maintaining their intention to attend cardiac rehabilitation. Intervention to improve attendance should focus on improving intention to attend following discharge and during recovery by improving patient understanding of cardiac rehabilitation and reducing negative affect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-152
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Early online date9 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

Funders: We acknowledge the support of our funders, Chief Scientists Office, Scottish Government, Grant number CZH/4/650.

Acknowledgements: We gratefully acknowledge the efforts of our study participants who gave their time so generously. We acknowledge the support of our advisory group, including medical consultants from all 3 sites, senior nurses and managers within cardiology, cardiac rehabilitation and research as well as CR physiotherapists all worked collaboratively to provide advice and guidance.


  • Attendance at cardiac rehabilitation
  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Cardiac self-efficacy
  • Diary study
  • Ecological momentary assessment
  • Illness perceptions
  • Intention
  • Mood
  • Self-management
  • Treatment perceptions


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