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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The illness experience of patients following a myocardial infarction : implications for patient education DeAdder, Dawna Nadine


This study used the research method of phenomenology to elicit the patient's perspective of the illness experience following a myocardial infarction (MI). The purpose of studying this experience was to gain an understanding of what it meant to men and women to have a MI, what the learning needs were following a MI, and how these learning needs were met. It was proposed that patients would view the illness experience differently from health professionals, thus the patients would identify different learning needs. Anderson's (1985) adaptation of Kleinman's health care system framework was used to conceptualize this problem. Three males and two females, ranging in age from 42 to 77 years, participated in the study. Data were collected through 11 in-depth interviews. From analysis of this data significant statements were extracted to provide a description of the phenomenon under study. The findings of this study suggest that health professionals and patients do view the MI experience from different perspectives. The emphasis of the patients on understanding the MI experience from the reality of their world is reflected in their attempts to rationalize the occurrence of the MI and their desires to know more about their own MI, prognosis, and treatment. In order to plan patient education that will assist post-MI patients in their recovery health professionals must assess patients individually for their: (1) beliefs regarding risk factors and causes of MI; (2) desire for Information; (3) preference for method of instruction; and, (4) preference for timing of education.

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