The effectiveness and experience of self-management following acute coronary syndrome

Ping Guo, Ruth Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives:To evaluate the effectiveness of interventions used to support self-management, and to explore patients’ experiences after acute coronary syndrome in relation to self-management. Design:Scoping review. Data sources Keyword search of CINAHL Plus, Medline, the Cochrane Library, and PsycINFO databases for studies conducted with adult population and published in English between 1993 and 2014. Review methods: From title and abstract review, duplicated articles and obviously irrelevant studies were removed. The full texts of the remaining articles were assessed against the selection criteria. Studies were included if they were original research on 1) effectiveness of self-management interventions among individuals following acute coronary syndrome; or 2) patients’ experience of self-managing recovery from acute coronary syndrome. Results 44 articles (19 quantitative and 25 qualitative) were included. Most studies were conducted in western countries and quantitative studies were UK centric. Self-management interventions tended to be complex and include several components, including education and counselling, goal setting and problem solving skills which were mainly professional-led rather than patient-led. The review demonstrated variation in the effectiveness of self-management interventions in main outcomes assessed - anxiety and depression, quality of life and health behavioural outcomes. For most participants in the qualitative studies, acute coronary syndrome was unexpected and the recovery trajectory was a complex process. Experiences of making adjustment and adopting lifestyle changes following acute coronary syndrome were influenced by subjective life experiences and individual, sociocultural and environmental contexts. Participants’ misunderstandings, misconceptions and confusion about disease processes and management were another influential factor. They emphasised a need for ongoing input and continued support from health professionals in their self-management of rehabilitation and recovery, particularly during the initial recovery period following hospital discharge. Conclusions:Evidence of the effectiveness of self-management interventions among people with acute coronary syndrome remains inconclusive. Findings from the patients’ experiences in relation to self-management following acute coronary syndrome provided important insights into what problems patients might have encountered during self-managing recovery and what support they might need, which can be used to inform the development of self-management interventions. Theoretical or conceptual frameworks have been minimally employed in these studies and should be incorporated in future development and evaluation of self-management interventions as a way of ensuring clarity and consistency related to how interventions are conceptualised, operationalised and empirically studied. Further research is needed to evaluate self-management interventions among people following acute coronary syndrome for sustained effect and within different health care contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-51
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016


  • Acute coronary syndrome
  • conceptual framework
  • experiences
  • interventions
  • scoping review
  • self-management


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