Recovery Trajectory of Unpartnered Elders After Myocardial Infarction: An Analysis of Daily Diaries


University of California, San Francisco, N411Y, Box 0606, San Francisco, CA 94143-0606


The study reported here analyzed daily diary entries of unpartnered elders after myocardial infarction (MI) to gain perspective into their recovery. A total of 33 diaries were included as part of the qualitative analysis of the larger study referred to above. Diary content was evaluated through qualitative descriptive analysis. Six categories—activities of daily living, exercise practices, social support, symptom reporting, healthcare activities, and health-related expenses—were identified from the diaries. Results suggest that recovering, unpartnered MI elders have a need to return to a familiar lifestyle. Moreover, a few differences and similarities based on gender were found. In the rehabilitation setting, nurses should recognize the need for elders to return to normal activities, the importance of social support, the acknowledgment of gender differences, and the potential cost burden for these patients. Diaries were a valuable tool with which to uncover information about the recovery trajectory of unpartnered elders after MI.