Title. Coping, anxiety and quality of life after coronary artery bypass graft surgery
Aim. This paper is a report of a study to explore the relationship between ways of coping, anxiety level and quality of life for patients after coronary artery bypass grafting.
Background. Coronary artery bypass grafting requires appropriate coping strategies to achieve successful adaptation. In Taiwan, the incidence of this surgery is increasing, but research on adaptation following surgery is limited, with no research examining outcomes for women, who often have poorer adaptation outcomes than men.
Methods. An integrated research design, based on Lazarus and Folkman’s transaction coping theory, was used. The research employed convenience sampling with four instruments: the Revised Ways of Coping Checklist, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Short Form 36-Health Survey, and a demographic questionnaire, sent to 50 men and 50 women who were recruited from a medical centre in Taiwan. Additionally, qualitative data from interviews with three men and three women, who had completed the instruments, were analysed.
Findings. Better quality of life was associated with lower anxiety level, greater use of problem-focused coping strategies and those who had more gender role responsibility. Women scored lower on the physical dimensions of quality of life, used more self-blaming coping strategies and experienced slightly higher levels of anxiety compared to men. The qualitative analysis supported the conclusions of the quantitative analysis.
Conclusion. The results will help nurses design specific interventions intended to lower anxiety levels, promote the use of problem-focused strategies and identify patients’ values, necessary to achieve optimal quality of life.