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Striving for balance in daily life: Experiences of Swedish women and men shortly after a myocardial infarction
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Sciences. (Caring Sciences)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics. (Biomedical ethics)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Sciences. (Caring Sciences)
2007 (English)In: Journal of Clinical Nursing, ISSN 0962-1067, E-ISSN 1365-2702, Vol. 16, no 2, 391-401 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim is to describe experiences of daily life of women and men during the first four to six months after a myocardial infarction. The focus is on problems, managing problems and support from their network. Background.  A cardiac event is traumatic and may influence well-being during a significant period of time. Few qualitative studies have investigated experiences of both women and men after a myocardial infarction and remarkably little research has been conducted on men's experiences. Design.  The study design was descriptive, retrospective and qualitative. Methods.  Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 women and 19 men from January 2000 to November 2001. Data were analysed using qualitative content analysis. Results.  Three themes were generated from the analysis: `Threatening ordinary life', `Struggling for control' and `The ambiguous network'. Physical symptoms and emotional distress were the most commonly described problems during the first months after a myocardial infarction. The informants manage the problems by negotiating with themselves, relying on their own capabilities, changing attitudes and behaviours and taking their own decisions and actions. The network was generally supportive but rather often the informants also experienced communication problems when they interacted with their network. Conclusions.  Women and men strive for balance between problems and resources in daily life after a myocardial infarction. How well they succeeded depends on how secure they feel how well they communicate their needs to their network and how sensitive their network is to their spoken and unspoken needs. Relevance to clinical practice.  The findings provide an insight into what kind of problems women and men may experience after myocardial infarction and how caregivers can aid them to increase security in their daily life. Some risk characteristics that may have increased their problems in daily life are suggested, for women and men respectively.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 16, no 2, 391-401 p.
Keyword [en]
content analysis, experiences in daily life, gender, myocardial infarction, nursing, social support
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-93951DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2005.01518.xISI: 000243404300020PubMedID: 17239075OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-93951DiVA: diva2:167612
Available from: 2006-01-27 Created: 2006-01-27 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Life After Myocardial Infarction in Swedish Women and Men: Coping, Social Support and Quality of Life Over the First Year
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Life After Myocardial Infarction in Swedish Women and Men: Coping, Social Support and Quality of Life Over the First Year
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Aims: The general aim of this thesis was to describe the life situation of women and men during their first year after myocardial infarction (MI) with regard to problems in daily life, how they coped with them, the social support available and the patients’ perceived quality of life (QoL). An additional aim was to examine differences over time and between women and men in coping, social support and QoL. Methods: A consecutive series of 74 women and 97 men were selected 1 month after MI and followed over the first year. A qualitative approach was used to describe experiences of everyday life of 20 women and 19 men from the study group, from the onset of MI through the first months after the event (retrospectively). Focus was on managing problems and support from the network (I). Also experiences at 4 to 6 months and expectations of the future were explored (II). Coping, social support and QoL were compared between women and men both with a cross-sectional (at 1 month; 74 women and 97 men; III) as well as with a longitudinal design (at 1, 4 and 12 months; 60 women and 88 men; IV). Findings: Physical symptoms and emotional distress were the most commonly described problems during the first months after MI. The patients managed the problems by negotiating with themselves, relying on their own capabilities, changing attitudes and behaviour and taking their own decisions. The network was generally supportive but also communication problems were described (I). Many of the patients had not established a stable health condition after 6 months. They managed the consequences of their disease, found a meaning in what had happened, and confidence in the future. The support from their social network encouraged them to move on (II). Women used more evasive and supportive coping than men 1 month after MI. More women perceived support being available from grandchildren and friends and more men from their partners. Compared with men, women rated lower health-related QoL and QoL (III). Coping and social support were stable over time, women used more evasive coping than men and health-related QoL increased for both women and men. (IV). Conclusions: The first month after MI seems to be a vulnerable period especially for women. They had difficulties interpreting their heart symptoms, did not want to bother others with their worries and rated lower QoL than men. Patients redefined normal life, found hopes for the future and women did not demonstrate a poorer QoL profile than men over time.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2006. 76 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 11
Keyword
Caring sciences, myocardial infarction, women and men, gender differences, problems, coping, social support, quality of life, Vårdvetenskap
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-6309 (URN)91-554-6447-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-02-17, 41:204, Valhall (aulan), Högskolan i Gävle, Kungsbäcksvägen 47, Gävle, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2006-01-27 Created: 2006-01-27Bibliographically approved

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Löfmark, RurikCarlsson, Marianne

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