Addressing spouses' unique needs after cardiac surgery when recovery is complicated by heart failure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


BACKGROUND: Cardiac surgery places extensive stress on spouses who often are more worried than the patients themselves. Spouses can experience difficult and demanding situations when the partner becomes critically ill. OBJECTIVES: To identify, describe, and conceptualize the individual needs of spouses of patients with complications of heart failure after cardiac surgery. METHODS: Grounded theory using a mix of systematic coding, data analysis, and theoretical sampling was performed. Spouses, 10 women and 3 men between 39 and 85 years, were interviewed. RESULTS: During analysis, the core category of confirmation was identified as describing the individual needs of the spouses. The core category theoretically binds together three underlying subcategories: security, rest for mind and body, and inner strength. Confirmation facilitated acceptance and improvement of mental and physical health among spouses. CONCLUSIONS: By identifying spouses' needs for security, rest for mind and body, and inner strength, health care professionals can confirm these needs throughout the caring process, from the critical care period and throughout rehabilitation at home. Interventions to confirm spouses' needs are important because they are vital to the patients' recovery. (Heart Lung (R) 2009;38:284-291.)


  • Susanna Ågren
  • Gunilla Hollman Frisman
  • Sören Berg
  • Rolf Svedjeholm
  • Anna Stromberg
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nursing
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-291
JournalHeart & Lung
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Otorhinolaryngology (Lund) (013044000), The Vårdal Institute (016540000)