Stress in women's daily life before and after a myocardial infarction: a qualitative analysis.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Little is known about women's perceptions of their daily life before and after a myocardial infarction (MI), especially with regard to stress, which is a risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD). Aim: To describe and explore women's perceptions of stress before and after an MI. Method: Two interviews with women who suffered an MI, the first at the hospital (n = 20) and the second 4-10 months after the MI (n = 14), were analysed using a phenomenographic approach. Findings: The stress emanated either from within themselves (personal traits) or as an effect of their immediate surroundings. The period before the MI was stressful due to the different roles they had to maintain in their private and professional lives. They lost control over their daily life. After hospital discharge they both wanted and needed support, as they were terrified when they returned home. They did not know how much they could do and neither did their relatives, while little or no support was provided by the healthcare professionals. Conclusions: To prevent CHD in daily life and avoid reinforcing stress, it is important to place greater emphasis on stress as an important risk factor. An understanding of this phenomenon can assist primary healthcare, coronary care unit (CCU) and rehabilitation nurses in supporting these women as well as their partners to adapt their daily lives both before and after an MI. It is essential to formulate and implement individualised treatment plans and to provide support groups for women.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nursing


  • myocardial infarction, qualitative method, stress, women
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-17
JournalScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007
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: Division of Nursing (Closed 2012) (013065000)

Related research output

Annica Sjöström-Strand, 2011, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Clinical Sciences, Lund University. 140 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)

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