BACKGROUND: lifestyle-related secondary prevention reduces cardiac events and is recommended irrespective of age. However, motivation may be influenced by age and disease progression.
OBJECTIVE: to explore older cardiac patients' perspectives toward lifestyle-related secondary prevention after a hospital admission.
METHODS: a generic qualitative design was used. Semi-structured interviews were performed with cardiac patients ≥ 70 years within 3 months after a hospital admission. The interview guide was based on the Attitudes, Social influence and self-Efficacy (ASE) model. All interviews were analysed using thematic analysis.
RESULTS: eight themes emerged which were linked to the determinants of the ASE-model. The three themes (i) Perspectives are determined by general health and habits, (ii) feeling the threat as a motivator and (iii) balancing between health benefits and quality of life (QoL), were linked to attitude. Regarding social influence, the themes (iv) feeling both encouraged and hindered by family members, and (v) the healthcare professional says so, were identified. For the self-efficacy determinant, (vi) experiences from previous lifestyle changes, (vii) integrating advice in daily life and (viii) feeling limited by functional impairments, emerged as themes.
CONCLUSION: most older cardiac patients made no lifestyle modifications after the last hospital admission and balanced possible benefits against their QoL. Functional impairments frequently limit implementation, in particular of physical activity. Patients' preferences and patient-centred outcomes focusing on QoL and functional independence may be the starting point when healthcare professionals discuss lifestyle modification in older patients. The involvement of family members may help patients to integrate lifestyle-related secondary prevention in daily life.