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The female partners' experiences of intimate relationship after a first myocardial infarction
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Sciences.
2011 (English)In: Journal of Clinical Nursing, ISSN 0962-1067, E-ISSN 1365-2702, Vol. 20, no 11-12, 1677-1684 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim. This study aimed to explore and describe women's experience of intimate relationships in connection to and after their partner's first myocardial infarction. Background. Support from partners is important for recovery, but little is known about partners' experience of intimate relationships after myocardial infarction. Design. The study used an explorative, qualitative design. Methods. The first author interviewed 20 women having a partner who had suffered a first myocardial infarction during the preceding year. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyse the data. Findings. Three themes emerged: 'limited life space', 'sense of life lost' and 'another dimension of life'. The women described how their self-assumed responsibility led to a more stifling and limited life. Their sense of life lost was described in terms of deficits and feeling the loss. The women also described experiencing another dimension of life characterised by three subthemes: 'uncertainty of life', 'certain of relationship' and 'share life more'. Conclusions. The partners' myocardial infarction had an impact on the interviewees' intimate relationships; they suffered a major loss and missed their 'former' partner, both emotionally and sexually. They struggled with the new asymmetry in their intimate relationship and felt compelled to adapt to their partners' lack of sexual desire or function. Also, their partner controlled them, which lead towards a stifling, more limited life space. Relevance to clinical practice. Caregivers in hospital and primary care settings could apply the findings in their efforts to help couples recover or maintain intimate relationships following myocardial infarction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 20, no 11-12, 1677-1684 p.
Keyword [en]
content analysis, female, myocardial infarction, relationship, spouses
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-154546DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2010.03312.xISI: 000290408000019PubMedID: 20880096OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-154546DiVA: diva2:420971
Available from: 2011-06-07 Created: 2011-06-07 Last updated: 2011-06-07Bibliographically approved

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