1. Echeverri, Rebecca BSN, RN, Faculty Advisor
  2. Winters, Charlene DNS, APRN

Article Content


To explore rural persons' perceptions of community level barriers to participation in cardiac rehabilitation programs.



Cardiovascular disease is a significant health problem in rural states and complicated by the lack of access to specialized healthcare services, such as cardiac rehabilitation programs. Researchers have documented that education, counseling, and behavioral interventions are important elements of cardiac rehabilitation (CR) that lead to decreased mortality and increased quality of life. Despite the known benefits of participation, only 10% to 20% of eligible persons in the United States participate in CR.



A comparative corelational design was used to explore community level barriers to participation in CR. A nonrandom convenience sample of persons admitted to a regional acute care hospital in a rural western state for treatment of an acute or chronic cardiovascular condition during a 12-week period were asked to complete a 4-part questionnaire. The self-administered questionnaire consisted of questions from the Michigan State University Rurality Index, Medical Outcomes Study Short Form, and Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Survey. In addition, questions specifically written to examine perceptions of community level barriers to participation in CR using a 7-point Likert scale were included in the questionnaire. Demographic information was also obtained.



After a brief discussion of the study and human rights considerations, participants were asked to complete a 4-part, self-administered questionnaire. Responses were coded and entered into a statistical analysis program and relationships between degree of rurality and perceptions of community level barriers analyzed.



Results are pending. Data collection began in October 2006 and will be completed in December of 2006.



Conclusions are pending until final data analysis.


Implications for Practice:

The findings of this study are expected to provide greater insight into the influence of rurality on perceptions of community factors as barriers to participation in CR. Increased understanding of these perceptions will enhance nursing knowledge and the ability to plan interventions that promote participation by addressing the specific needs of rural dwellers.