Women's descriptions of coping with stress at the time of and after a myocardial infarction: a phenomenographic analysis

Annica Sjöström-Strand, Bengt Fridlund
Canadian Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing 2006, 16 (1): 5-12

BACKGROUND: Few studies have focused on how women are coping with myocardial infarction.

AIM: The aim of this study was to describe and explore how women cope with stress at the time of and after an MI.

DESIGN AND METHODS: A descriptive qualitative design using phenomenography was chosen. Twenty women were interviewed while in hospital, 14 of whom were interviewed on a second occasion at four, six or 10 months after the MI.

FINDINGS: Cogitative actions, social belonging and emotional diversion were identified as a way of managing stress at the time of and after the MI.

CONCLUSION: The present study has a comprehensive perspective, as the women involved described in their own words how they used different coping strategies to manage stress in their personal and professional lives related to MI. The women received help and support from the family and also from the health care, but they also used their own resources to reduce the stress.

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