Exploring the meaning of recovery following myocardial infarction
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Exploring the meaning of recovery following myocardial infarction

Angela Tod Principal research fellow, Centre for Health and Social Care Research, Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield

Aim To explore the meaning of recovery from the perspective of patients who have had a myocardial infarction (MI) and their carers.

Method Constructivist grounded theory was used, incorporating individual and group interviews. Twenty-four cardiac support group members (15 patients and nine carers) participated in a group interview. Ten patients were individually interviewed six to nine months after MI.

Findings Following an MI, participants felt different from how they were ‘as a person’ before the MI. Recovery was therefore an ongoing process that involved learning to live with that difference. ‘Watchful insecurity’ emerged as a core category in explaining recovery from the participants’ perspective. Recovery was depicted as a series of ‘peaks and troughs’.

Conclusion The individual nature of each person’s recovery pathway can be used to develop acceptable and accessible services to support recovery following MI.

Nursing Standard. 23, 3, 35-42. doi: 10.7748/ns2008.



Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review