Communicating with people who have experienced heart attack
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Communicating with people who have experienced heart attack

Lisa Dullaghan Cardiac catheterisation nurse manager, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, Belfast
Lisa Lusk Cardiovascular research nurse, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, Belfast
Patrick Donnelly Consultant cardiologist, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, Belfast
Mary McGeough Primary percutaneous coronary intervention co-ordinator, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust
Donna Fitzsimons Senior manager of nursing research, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, , University of Ulster

Lisa Dullaghan and colleagues discuss how patients with non-ST elevation myocardial infarction perceive their illness and the treatments they have received

Presentations of acute myocardial infarction (MI) can be divided into diagnostic subcategories that require different treatments. This article reports the results of a study that explored and compared patients’ perceptions of their illness and motivation for behavioural change after different treatments for MI. Results suggest that patients who have had non-ST elevation MI (NSTEMI) and whose initial diagnosis is uncertain take their condition less seriously than those who have had STEMI and invasive or ‘urgent’ treatments. This tendency can make them less motivated to change their lifestyles. Healthcare professionals in emergency departments should be aware of, and address, patients’ misconceptions and provide clear and consistent advice to improve their long-term outcomes.

Emergency Nurse. 21, 6, 33-36. doi: 10.7748/en2013.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 06 June 2013

Accepted: 29 July 2013

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