Evid Based Nurs 5:126 doi:10.1136/ebn.5.4.126
  • Qualitative

A support group created a caring environment where women with heart disease felt understood, supported, and strengthened by peers and nurse facilitators

 QUESTION: From the perspectives of women with heart disease, what is the apparent benefit of a community based communication and psychoeducational support group?


Participatory action research.


Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


16 women (46–76 y) who had experienced a myocardial infarction, coronary artery bypass graft surgery, or percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty in the previous 6 months or angina in the previous year, and who had no physical or mental health disabilities.


Through a process of discussion, deliberation, and evaluation, participants codesigned a community based communication and psychoeducational support group for themselves that they thought would be beneficial to other women living with heart disease. 2 groups of women (n=9 and n=7) met monthly in 2 hour sessions for 5 months in a local church. A nurse clinician and a nurse researcher jointly facilitated sessions. Women participated in a telephone support network and were asked to keep a diary of their experiences of living with heart disease. Consensus was used to choose …

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