Patients’ Experiences of Cardiovascular Health Education and Risk Communication: A Qualitative Synthesis

Stefanie Mentrup, Emma Harris, Timothy Gomersall, Sascha Köpke, Felicity Astin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Coronary heart disease (CHD) has no cure, and patients with myocardial infarction are at high risk for further cardiac events. Health education is a key driver for patients’ understanding and motivation for lifestyle change, but little is known about patients’ experience of such education. In this review, we aimed to explore how patients with CHD experience health education and in particular risk communication. A total of 2,221 articles were identified through a systematic search in five databases. 40 articles were included and synthesized using thematic analysis. Findings show that both “what” was communicated, and “the way” it was communicated, had the potential to influence patients’ engagement with lifestyle changes. Communication about the potential of lifestyle change to reduce future risk was largely missing causing uncertainty, anxiety, and, for some, disengagement with lifestyle change. Recommendations for ways to improve health education and risk communication are discussed to inform international practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-104
Number of pages17
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number1
Early online date15 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


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