Effect of an Educational Workshop on Heart Disease Prevention Knowledge of Employees in Rural, Northeast Missouri: A Pilot Study

Megan Temme, Samantha Goode, Dierdra Fausto, Jonathan Jones,
Truman State University, Kirksville, MO

Full manuscript: www.kon.org/urc/v10/temme.html

Abstract Adult employees participated in an hour-long heart attack prevention workshop that covered the causes of heart attacks, prevention techniques including proper diet and exercise regimens, and symptoms and warning signs of a heart attack. Prior to and immediately following each workshop, the participants completed a heart attack prevention knowledge test. Results indicated that the mean knowledge post-test score for all participants was significantly higher than their mean knowledge pre-test score. It seems that a brief workplace heart attack prevention workshop could improve knowledge of employees in different types of work settings.

Introduction Heart Disease and Risk Factors Heart disease is the number one worldwide killer of men and women, and it kills more people than all forms of cancer combined (Mayo Clinic, 2009). Heart disease is a term used to describe a variety of specific heart conditions. Heart failure, heart arrhythmias, and coronary artery disease, including heart attacks and chest pain, are all types of heart disease (US Department of Health and Human Services [DHHS], 2009a). The most common form of heart disease is atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is most frequently caused by environmental factors such as unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, being overweight, and smoking (Mayo Clinic, 2009). Uncontrollable risk factors for heart disease include: heredity, age, and gender, specifically those of the male gender; persons of the Mexican, American Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Asian-American race; and persons aged 65 and over (American Heart Association, n.d.). Controllable risk factors for heart disease include tobacco smoke, both first and secondhand smoke, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, being overweight or obese, consumption of a substantial amount of alcohol, and having uncontrolled diabetes mellitus (American Heart Association, n.d.).

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