The second myocardial infarction : A known but different experience

Abstract: The overall aim of this thesis was to explore the second myocardial infarction (MI) and describe experiences of the second myocardial infarction from the perspectives of patients and personnel in cardiac rehabilitation (CR).This thesis includes four studies. Studies using quantitative method (I, II) and qualitative method (III, IV) were performed. Studies I and II were retrospective cohort studies based on data from the Northern Sweden’s MONICA myocardial infarction registry. A paired design was used. Study I included 1017 participants, and the corresponding figure for Study II was 820 participants. The participants had at least two MI events recorded in the MONICA MI registry from 1990 – 2009 (I) and 1986 – 2009 (II). The two MI events studied were the first and second events. Study III included eight patients who suffered two MIs. The data were collected through interviews about the experience of suffering a second MI. In Study IV, personnel working with CR were interviewed about the experience of working with patients suffering from a second MI and data from study III were used for describing the patients expressed needs during CR. Data were analysed by descriptive and analytic statistics (I, II) and by qualitative content analysis (III, IV).Both men and women had higher risk factor burdens when suffering the second MI compared when they suffered the first MI. Women had a higher risk factor burden at both first and second MI compared with men. Women also suffered the second MI with a shorter time interval than men did (I). The most common symptom reported in men and women at both MI events were typical symptoms. In men, 10.6 % reported different types of symptoms at first and second MI, and the corresponding figure for women was 16.2 % (II). The number of patients with a prehospital delay < 2 hours increased at the second MI. Furthermore, the results showed that patients with a prehospital delay ≥ 2 hours at the first MI were more likely to have a prehospital delay ≥ 2 hours at the second MI (II). Suffering a second MI is a known but different event compared to the first MI, it makes afflicted people realise the seriousness and the importance of making lifestyle changes (III). People express they are more affected after having the second MI, both physically and psychologically (III). In the analysis of congruence between the needs patients expressed linked to CR and personnel’s description of how they worked, a theme emerged: “Be seen as a unique person” 2(IV). The patients expressed a need of customised care, and the personnel described that it was important for them to individualise the care given to these patients.Suffering a second MI is experienced as a different and more serious event that the first one. The patients had gained valuable knowledge due to their previous experience and the second MI was a wake-up call for life style changes. A majority of the patients had typical symptoms at both MI events and an increased number of patients had a prehospital delay < 2 hours at the second MI. We suggest that the personnel in CR pay attention to first-time MI patients’ illness representation to enhance the patient’s awareness of the seriousness of the illness and the fact that they suffer from a chronic illness. The care given after an MI, including cardiac rehabilitation should be person-centred to involve the patient as an active participator in the care and were the patient’s resources and needs are in focus.