|by Lisa Spellman|
SUCCESS COMES IN PAIRS
|SPOUSES OF CARDIAC PATIENTS CAN DO MORE TO HELP WITH REHABILITATION.|
|For a year during nursing school, Bernice Yates, Ph.D., cared for her mother who was dying of cancer. She held her hand, bathed her and helped her family navigate the medical maze.
Her mother never saw her graduate. But, the personal caregiving experience gave Dr. Yates a richer perspective on the most effective way to help patients make a stronger recovery.
An associate professor in the department of adult health and illness in the UNMC College of Nursing, Dr. Yates will launch a two-year pilot study to look at the outcomes of cardiac rehabilitation on patients and their spouses.
The 40-couple study, funded by a $225,000 grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research, a division of the National Institutes of Health, is being done through the outpatient cardiac rehab centers at The Nebraska Medical Center and Nebraska Methodist Health System.
All patients will participate in exercise and education classes at the cardiac rehab outpatient center, but only half of the patients' spouses will join their partner in the activities. Dr. Yates hypothesizes that cardiac patients have better long-term success if their spouses are included in their rehabilitation program.
"The hope is that what they learn in cardiac rehab will stay with them long after they leave," Dr. Yates said. "And if their spouse is involved in rehab with them, their chances for success go up."
Their support is similar to the compassionate care and support she provided her own family during her mother's illness and after her death. "I was considered the health expert in the family, someone who could provide a caring perspective," she said.
Her study participants will receive similar guidance. For six months, Dr. Yates will follow their progress, noting each milestone in diet and exercise and then tally the results. For the
Bernice Yates, Ph.D., teaches heart patient John Torchia and his wife, Rachel, a new exercise program while Claudia Stolinski, cardiovascular nurse specialist at the Nebraska Medical Center, takes John's blood pressure.
|discover spring 2010|