Since the early 1960s coronary artery disease (CAD) has been the nation's leading killer of middle-aged men. Even with development of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, the recurrence rate remains high. The research question addressed in this descriptive study was what risk factors associated with CAD can be identified in individuals after CABG surgery? Using Becker's Health Belief Model as a theoretical framework, a convenience sample of 69 postoperative CABG clients from a rural Mississippi cardiac rehabilitation program completed researcher-developed surveys. Descriptive analysis identified the following risk factors in the sample : Forty-three (63%) of subjects reported eating fried foods, 26 (39%) reported whole milk consumption, and 49 (65%) eat regular cheese. Twenty (29%) reported smoking. Thirty-five (51%) reported hypertension, yet 45 (61%) reported use of regular salt on their food. Additionally, 35 (51%) reported various levels of stress, while only 19 (26%) reported using relaxation techniques to help the stress. I l l Family history was identified as a risk factor with 55 (79%) reporting a parent with heart disease, and 40 (57%) reported a sibling with heart disease. Findings from this study indicate that perceived health status and demographic variables may influence compliance to recommended treatment programs. Implications for nursing include assessment of perceived health status and demographic variables and individualizing educational plans for clients based on these data. The researcher recommends replicating this study with a pilot test of the instruments and using a larger, more randomized sample and a longitudinal study.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Graduate Nursing

Degree Date


Publication Number


First Advisor

Lorraine Hamm

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Included in

Nursing Commons