Cardiovascular Patient Focus Group

Education for Health
Patient and Public Involvement


It is important that education and training of health professionals reflect not only the appropriate evidence base but also considers the issues that are relevant for patients, to explore this issue a  focus group was undertaken with members of the public attending a ‘Healthy Heart’ support group. This was held in a leisure centre and had 24 ex patients and 12 partners with no known history of heart disease. The scene was set by informing the group that confidentiality was assured and lasted for approximately 1 hour.

What are the Aims?

To explore the issues that patients and families felt were important for health professionals to demonstrate when managing their on-going cardiac care.

Who was/is involved?

A nominal focus group technique was followed and the participants were put into 12 groups of three and were purposefully mixed to ensure there was a range of gender, age and social class. Using this technique allowed participants to put forward their ideas and then with facilitation identify the common themes.

What has changed/will change?


  • Patients wanted to be listened to
  • Wanted health professionals to check their understanding
  • Two way
  • Continuity of care/stop all the repetition when a different Dr each time
  • Joined up care between health professionals
  • Honesty from health professional
  • Information needed throughout/bite size chunks
  • Different media to explain things
  • Relaxed and friendly environment
  • Expressed the need to be asked how they were actually feeling


  • Patients wanted health professionals to be able to give the specifics if asked, saying ‘it is not my field you will have to ask the specialist’ was not considered acceptable and did not instil confidence
  • GP/PN needed to be more informed about condition
  • They felt there was often a gap in their knowledge
  • A ‘pack’ with all relevant info in was suggested
  • Wanted them to be able to give an update on progress
  • Wanted access to advice line/person

Patient follow up

  • Patients expressed a wish to have a regular heart follow up with GP
  • Patients wanted the detail and to know their numbers: BP, Cholesterol etc
  • There was a need to provide clearer explanation of medication and why taking as well as monitoring
  • Patients wanted information on specific risk factors and what to do
  • Expressed the need to be helped to change behaviour and not just told what to do

What lessons have we learnt?


  • Will be fed back to trainers via e mail
  • Is part of learning materials but specifics will be developed further in new module and as part of module planning


  • Currently within learning materials and will continue to be in revised module Further clarification needed – will discuss at MDC

Patient follow up

  • Applicable across all modules – will feedback to CPC
  • Self-management and behaviour change is part of the existing module and this will be developed in future modules as part of module planning team