Women recovering from first-time myocardial infarction (MI): a feminist qualitative study
Although myocardial infarction (MI) is a leading cause of death and disablement for women internationally, little is known about women’s recovery. This paper describes an exploratory descriptive study that was informed by feminist principles, and which aimed to explore the recovery experiences of a group of women survivors of first-time MI in the initial period following discharge from hospital. A total of 10 female survivors were interviewed using an open-ended semi-structured interview schedule administered at 7, 14 and 21 days post-hospital discharge. Findings revealed that recovery was experienced as a complex process, initially characterized by fear and uncertainty. Over the duration of the study these feelings were replaced with a more positive outlook, a return of energy, and a sense of confidence in the future. Participants identified an unmet need for reliable information which persisted over the duration of the study. The findings of this study have implications for nursing practice and research. Chief among these is the issue of effective provision of information to women following an acute MI. The importance of providing relevant information to be understood and retained by people experiencing crisis cannot be overstated. Equally important are the provision of opportunities for patients to have regular contact with health professionals to question and seek clarifying information. These findings should now be tested on larger populations.