Family Support and Cardiac Rehabilitation: A Comparative Study of the Experiences of South Asian and White-European Patients and Their Carer’s Living in the United Kingdom

Felicity Astin, Karl Atkin, Aliya Darr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Effective lifestyle modification facilitated by cardiac rehabilitation is known to reduce the occurrence of adverse coronaryevents and mortality. South Asians have poorer outcomes after a myocardial infarction than the general UK population, but little is knownabout their experiences of family support, cardiac rehabilitation and lifestyle change.Aims: To explore the nature of family support available to a sample of South Asian and White-European cardiac patients and to highlightsimilarities and differences between these groups with regard to cardiac rehabilitation and lifestyle modification.Methods: Using a qualitative approach, semi-structured interviews (in 1 of 6 languages) were conducted by researchers with; 45 South Asianpatients and 37 carers and 20 White-European patients and 17 carers. Interviews were conducted in a home setting, up to eighteen monthsafter discharge from hospital following myocardial infarction, coronary artery bypass surgery or unstable angina.Results: The main themes that emerged related to the provision of advice and information, family support and burden, dietary change andexercise regimes.Conclusions: Several cultural and ethnic differences were identified between patients and their families alongside similarities, irrespective ofethnicity. These may represent generic characteristics of recovery after a cardiac event. Health professionals should develop a culturalrepertoire to engage with diversity and difference. Not every difficulty a person encounters as they try to access appropriate service deliverycan be attributed to ethnic background. By improving services generally, support for South Asian populations can be improved. Thechallenge is to know when ethnicity makes a difference and mediates a person's relationship with service support and when it does not.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-51
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing
Issue number1
Early online date1 Mar 2008
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes


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