BACKGROUND: A major problem limiting the success of angioplasty is the high restenosis rate. In addition, coronary artery disease is an ongoing process requiring lifestyle changes to prevent disease progression. OBJECTIVE: To examine patient concerns and risk factor modification behaviors during early recovery from angioplasty. Specific attention was directed to: (1) expectation of restenosis, (2) occurrence of angina, (3) achievement of expected benefits, (4) tension/anxiety levels, (5) self-efficacy for and actual performance of needed lifestyle changes. METHODS: For this descriptive study the Self-Report of Recovery (a project-derived questionnaire) and the Profile of Mood States were mailed to 54 patients at 1, 6, and 12 weeks of recovery. The study group comprised 37 men and 17 women (mean age, 57 years) who had undergone first-time successful angioplasty at a midwestern medical center. At 12 weeks 78% remained. RESULTS: A majority of patients did not expect restenosis to occur. At 3 months 83% reported that they were angina-free, 90% reported that they would repeat the procedure if needed, all scores on the tension/anxiety scale were normal, and 86% had achieved some benefits they had expected. Most expressed high confidence in their ability to reduce risk factors, with 90% reporting initiation of at least one lifestyle change. CONCLUSION: We concluded that patients had positive feelings about their angioplasty experience and were not overly concerned about restenosis.

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