Women’s recovery after a first myocardial infarction from an organisational, a relational and an individual perspective
Abstract: The overall aim of this thesis was to explore and describe women’s recovery after a first myocardial infarction (MI) from an organisational, a relational and an individual perspective. In this thesis a longitudinal, explorative and descriptive design combining both quantitative (papers I-II) and qualitative (papers III-IV) methods has been used. Data was collected from healthcare professionals at 18 acute hospitals (paper I), which on two occasions answered a questionnaire dealing with cardiac rehabilitation efforts. From these 18 hospitals, 240 women who had suffereda first MI (paper II) were consecutively chosen to answer a questionnaire on three occasions on the subject of social support and social network. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse data over time. Paper III and IV had an exploratory and descriptive design based on an inductive, qualitative content analysis approach. Interviews were conducted with 20 cardiac rehabilitation nurses (CRN) (paper III) and with 26 women suffering a first MI (paper IV).The results showed that patients with MI, and their next of kin, were offered a well-functioning cardiac rehabilitation on both measurement occasions. None of the hospitals offered a CRP that was specifically designed for women (paper I). The women perceived that the extent of general support, support from relatives, and professional support changed positively over time (paper II). The CRNs experienced that women’s recovery was influenced by their ability to cope with the stresses of life, if they wanted to be involved in their own personal care and how they related to themselves, and their opportunities to receive support (paper III). Women experienced that ability to approach the new perspective of life depended on how they embraced the three dimensions; behaviour, i.e. women’s acting and engaging in various activities, social i.e. how women receive and give support in their social environment, and psychological i.e. their way of thinking, reflect and appreciate life (paper IV).In conclusion, the four studies show that women’s recovery after a first MI is depending on factors emerging from an organisational, a relational and an individual perspective. Using knowledge from these three perspectives the possibility of a holistic approach to women’s recovery process to health will increase and the risk of a reductionist thinking will decrease.
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