• delay in seeking care;
  • acute myocardial infarction;
  • common sense model;
  • illness representation;
  • symptom recognition


Thirty percent of people who experience symptoms of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) do not seek care until more than 2–6 hours after onset of symptoms, increasing their risk for morbidity and mortality. Using a model based on two frameworks, the common sense model of illness representation (CSM) and goal expectancy, variables associated with delay were examined to identify the most salient predictors of delay in seeking care for AMI. Hierarchical regression analysis revealed that the set of illness representation components from the CSM was a significant predictor of time to seek care, but individually, only recognition of symptoms as being caused by the heart was significant. Providing accurate information on symptoms of AMI may lead to early recognition, reduced delay, and reduced morbidity and mortality. © Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 28:283–294, 2005