Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Cardiopulm Rehabil. 1996 Mar-Apr;16(2):123-9.

Women's views of cardiac rehabilitation programs.

Author information

Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.



Previous approaches to understanding participation in cardiac rehabilitation programs based on middle-aged men may not be useful to explain the participation of women. The focus group research method produces unique data about attitudes and experiences that can serve as an adjunct to other forms of data collection in an effort to develop models explaining cardiac rehabilitation participation. The aim of this pilot study was to examine the perceptions and experiences of women participating in a cardiac rehabilitation program using focus groups.


Ten women (mean age 72 years) who had recently participated in a cardiac rehabilitation program were interviewed in focus groups of 6 and 4 members each using a semi-structured interview guide. Verbatim transcriptions of the focus group interviews were analyzed by two individuals using content analysis methods.


Results indicated that prior to participation women had no idea what to expect in a cardiac rehabilitation program. Features women liked most about the program included: (1) feeling "safe" during exercise because they were monitored; (2) peer group support during rehabilitation; and (3) pleasant, encouraging staff. Women desired more: (1) social interaction during the cardiac rehabilitation exercise sessions; (2) emotional support from staff members about all dimensions of cardiac recovery; and (3) exercise options other than cycle or treadmill.


Several cardiac rehabilitation program design and operational features are perceived by women as not meeting their needs. Although limited by its small sample size, findings from this study provide valuable insights into women's perceptions of cardiac rehabilitation programs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
    Loading ...
    Support Center