Learning What I Need to Know: Experiences of Rural Cardiac Surgery Patients


cardiovascular disease, cardiac surgery, learning experiences, rural, hermeneutics


Purpose: This hermeneutic study expands understandings of rural cardiac surgery patients’ experiences of their learning needs following cardiac surgery to inform the provision of patient education for this population.

Sample: Eighteen rural residents provided accounts about their experiences.

Findings: An interpretation as analysis approach revealed three themes: a) Learning: Family History Informing Preventive Care; b) Learning: The Notebook, Blue’s Clues, and Explanations; and c) Learning: Lifestyle Changes and Confronting Mortality.

Conclusions: The first theme demonstrates needs to ensure patients from rural settings understand that preventing cardiovascular disease is not limited to family members’ experiences with secondary and tertiary prevention. The second theme underscores the importance of providing patient education materials that are readable and useable, and considers existential learning needs. The last theme highlights the importance of patients understanding how lifestyle changes involve embracing new ways of living that are enhanced through cardiac rehabilitation, and yet, can be experienced as life limiting.

 DOI:  http://dx.doi.org/10.14574/ojrnhc.v20i1.605


Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

  1. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share (for non-commerical purposes) the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
  2. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
  3. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).