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April 24, 1967


JAMA. 1967;200(4):329. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120170101024

Clinical aspects of physical activity after myocardial infarction were recently reviewed by Burch and DePasquale.1 These investigators emphasize that "Much of the literature prepared for lay people is filled with oversimplifications and halftruths which confuse the patient. The patient's best source of information is his own physician, not paperback books and brochures." Published at approximately the same time was a fervent plea from a distinguished cardiologist2 to educate our "population-at-large, and particularly the candidates for these diseases" about what is known of atherosclerosis and heart attacks. Are these truly opposing views, or are the differences only apparent?

Constructive approaches to the education of laymen in cardiovascular diseases must be preceded by definition of purposes. Two rules may serve as guidelines: First, efforts should not be expended in educating laymen when decisions for clinical management should be based upon a physician's detailed understanding of the individual case. Secondly, intensive