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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Coping with angina pectoris following diagnosis Kent, Marjorie Anne


The purpose of this study was to determine how angina pectoris patients experience and cope with their chronic illness following diagnosis. Qualitative methodology, using phenomenological theory, was used to guide the study. The study was conducted with a convenience sample of six male angina patients, ranging in age from 42 to 72 years, with recency of diagnosis from two to thirty-four months. None of these subjects were known to have had a myocardial infarction (MI). Using a semi-structured interview guide with open-ended questions, the investigator interviewed each subject at home, on two occasions. Data coding and analysis were approached using the constant comparative method developed by Glaser and Strauss (1967). The findings of the study revealed angina patients progressing through four phases of coping experience as they adjusted to their illness and its concomitant need for risk modification. These phases were identified as: (1) Initial Coping Response; (2) Managing Specific Adjustment Areas; (3) Secondary Coping Response; and (4) Awareness of Resulting Changes. The findings supported the use of a chronic illness framework adapted from Strauss et al. (1984) for identifying some of the adjustment areas encountered and coping strategies utilized by the angina patients investigated. Nurses and other health professionals are angina patients investigated. Nurses and other health professionals are in a critical position to assist angina patients in coping with their illness. The phases of coping experience identified in this study may serve as a useful guide to help these health professionals assess the nature of problems and concerns related to coping with angina so that better adjustment in daily life will ensue.

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