The purpose of this study was to monitor and compare
levels of anxiety, depression, satisfaction and knowledge
in male coronary patients and their spouses, throughout
the patients stay in hospital and at one, three and six
months following discharge from the hospital. A programme of in-hospital educative-supportive counselling was
introduced to determine whether it significantly affected reactions.
The study design took the form of a randomized controlled
trial. The counselling was provided to couples during
four 30 minute sessions by a coronary care unit registered
Findings from the study provide evidence to support the
overall contention that this simple programme confers
additional benefits over and above the usual management
regime. These benefits include statistically significant
reductions in reported anxiety and depression, and
increases in satisfaction and knowledge in both partners.
The programme of support was simple and easy to implement,
requiring little investment in training personnel and none
in additional staff, finances or other resources.
It is concluded that in-hospital counselling for coronary
patients and partners is therapeutically effective and
Proposals are made for practice change and recommendations
are given for the direction of future research.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.