Behavior is increasingly contributing to morbidity and mortality in the United States. One example is heart disease, with coronary heart disease being the most common type.2,3  Every year approximately 735 000 Americans experience a myocardial infarction (MI); for 525 000 of these people, this will be their first MI.

Nurses routinely combat MIs in emergency departments (EDs), catheterization laboratories, coronary care units, cardiovascular surgery units, progressive care units, and rehabilitation programs and work diligently to stabilize these patients, prevent or minimize cardiac tissue injury, rehabilitate, and help patients heal from surgical intervention and return to their daily lives. Medication therapy is a routine part of the battle. Unfortunately, after patients leave the expert care of nurses, their behavioral adherence at home to medication therapy drops off.

Despite patient education on medications and their benefits, and the apparent ease of use of these medications, as...

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