One in every three deaths in the United States results from cardiovascular disease (CDC, 2013). Cardiovascular Rehabilitation (CR) is a medically supervised program designed to help improve cardiovascular health for patients who have experienced heart attack, heart failure, angioplasty, or heart surgery (AHA, 2016). A hospital in the southwestern region of the United States of America reports their 2016 CR attendance rate of 79 %, which is much lower than the national average of 94% (AACVPR, 2016). Motivational interviewing (MI) is a proven method used to promote a positive behavior change for cardiac rehab patients. MI includes quality improvement activities such as peer support and cardiac rehab educational classes that have shown to increase health related quality of life measures and decreased depression symptoms (Pietrabessa et al., 2017; Pack et al., 2013).
Despite all the knowledge about CR and its benefits for health nationally, there are low attendance rates, therefore the purpose of this evidence-based project is to improve CR attendance rates using MI. Patients enrolled into CR participated in the motivational interviewing for eight classes. At the end of the class, they were given notecards to create Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic and Timely (SMART) Goals for themselves for that week. The measurement tools, the PHQ-9 and Dartmouth COOP is a simple, reliable, and valid tool for assessing functional status of cardiac patients and the current CR program utilizes this tool and is familiar with explaining this tool (Eaton, Young, Fergussion, Garrett, & Kolbe, 2005).
A Pearson correlation coefficient was calculated for the relationship between the MI classes and the CR attendance, depression scores, and quality of life. A strong positive correlation was found (r (82)= .456, p< .001) indicating a significant linear relationship between motivational interviewing and cardiac rehab attendance. A weak correlation that was not significant for depression symptoms and quality of life. The impact of this evidence-based project is to give cardiac rehab programs further evidence that the implementation of motivational interviewing can positively influence cardiac rehab attendance rates.