Objective To describe, from the perspectives of health professionals, the health education currently being provided from hospital admission to discharge to home to patients who present with acute coronary syndrome who also have type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
Methods A qualitative study using semistructured interviews was undertaken in the coronary care unit (CCU) of a major hospital in Shanghai, China. Fifteen health professionals (nine registered nurses and six physicians) from the CCU who delivered health education to patients with acute coronary syndrome and T2DM participated. Participants also completed an Education Content Checklist containing topics consistent with existing national guidelines.
Findings Major themes identified included: health education is an essential embedded component of treatment; health education comprises varied strategies to facilitate behavioural change; and barriers and required resources to deliver effective health education.
Conclusions Surviving the initial symptoms and providing immediate treatment is the first step in recovery for patients with acute coronary syndrome and T2DM. Health education is an essential component of the management of these patients, and content and focus that is responsive to the recovery stage of the patient is required. Teaching and supporting strategies appropriate for the inpatient phase prior to discharging to the community phase are required.