Patient education post-coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery is an essential component of nursing care aimed at assisting patients in caring for themselves at home, following discharge from hospital. While there has been a recent interest in conducting meta-analysis and systematic reviews on the effectiveness of patient education during the preoperative period, no review was found on the topic of postoperative CABG patient education. This systematic review addressed the clinically-relevant questions: what approach, mode, and dose is most effective in producing changes in CABG patient education? Studies were included in the systematic review if they met the following selection criteria: (1) the sample represented adult (> or =18 years) patients who underwent CABG surgery; (2) the educational intervention involved the provision of self-care information following surgery but before discharge from hospital; (3) the outcome assessed related to self-care behavior; and (4) the study report was published in English between 1986 and 2008. A descriptive synthesis was used to code and extract data on publication information, study design, sample size, and quality of study, as well as postoperative CABG teaching, self-care behavior performance, and demographic characteristics of the patients who participated in the studies. A quantitative synthesis consisted of a statistical approach, which was used to calculate the magnitude of the treatment effects on self-care behavior. Results indicated larger effect sizes for CABG patient education in which the content was individualized, and given in a combination of media on an individual basis, and in more than one session.