This study was designed to test the hypotheses that ambulatory cardiac patients given a special teaching program would have increased understanding about their medication, make fewer medication errors, and know more about undesirable effects and how to handle them than patients not included in the special teaching program. Forty-one ambulatory cardiac patients were, after a random start, alternately assigned to an experimental or to a control group. All the patients were taking one or more of three different medications before hospitalization, during their hospital stay, and after their discharge. Three medications, digoxin (lanoxin), lasix, and nitroglycerin, were studied. The program for the experimental group included planned instruction and practice in self-administered medication while the patients were hospitalized.

The program, planned by the investigator, was implemented by three hospital staff medicine nurses. The investigator administered the pretests before the program and the post-tests 8 to 15 days after the patients were discharged. She also made a tablet count as one way of identifying medication errors.

Findings were in the direction supporting the hypotheses (no statistical procedures were performed). Pretest to post-test differences between the control and experimental groups were higher in most instances for the experimental group; i.e., , 7 of 9 questions on understanding of medication, 3 of 6 questions on medication errors, and 9 of 9 questions on knowledge of undesirable effects. The experimental group had no errors as determined by tablet count, whereas the control group had 23 out of a possible 31.

The data suggest that the special teaching program was effective in helping cardiac patients comply with their medication regimen insofar as compliance can be measured.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

Lucile Lewis

Second Advisor

Matilda Annabelle Mills

Third Advisor

Raymond Crawford

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Cardiovascular Diseases -- drug therapy; Patient Education



Page Count

viii; 126

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives