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Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR), defined as “a combination of the correct and practical use of guidelines, appropriate consultation, supplies of drugs and ancillary services, and education”, helps heart patients not only to improve their functional capacity, quality of life and to reduce risk factors, but also to educate them and to create a sense of well-being and optimism about the future. Studies have shown that when all facets of CR programs are applied in a comprehensive and systematic fashion, including patient education, it has a significant impact on recovery, reduction of admissions to hospital, improvement of quality of life and the functional state of these patients.

Knowledge of health and disease has been reported as an important component related to successful management of coronary artery disease. Studies have shown that patient education can influence cardiac patients to make healthier choices in daily life, to better manage their disease, to avoid adverse outcomes, and educational programs have even been associated with regression of coronary disease.

Despite well-established benefits from patient education in the CR setting, there are few psychometrically-validated questionnaires published in the literature assessing cardiac patients’
knowledge applicable to CR programs or that could be integrated into the routine management of this population. In addition, most of the tools are structured in a ‘true/false/do not know’ way, which may not reflect a real understanding of the patient about their condition because this form of structuring focuses more on ‘how much you know’ rather than ‘what you know’.

Ghisi et al (2010) developed the Coronary Artery Disease Education Questionnaire (CADE-Q) which assesses patients’ knowledge about their disease and related factors in a CR setting. The questionnaire was developed following an extensive review of the literature, with feedback from cardiologists and a CR multidisciplinary team. The CADE-Q, originally developed and validated in Brazilian Portuguese, was demonstrated to be a valid tool, with strong overall characteristics in terms of content, development and testing. The instrument has been validated in several languages and has two other versions: CADE-Q II and CADE-Q SV.