Original Research: Empirical Research – Qualitative
The experiences of male sudden cardiac arrest survivors and their partners: a gender analysis
Article first published online: 4 AUG 2014
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Journal of Advanced Nursing
Volume 71, Issue 2, pages 349–358, February 2015
How to Cite
2015) The experiences of male sudden cardiac arrest survivors and their partners: a gender analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing 71(2), 349–358. doi: 10.1111/jan.12499& (
- Issue published online: 12 JAN 2015
- Article first published online: 4 AUG 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 12 JUL 2014
- Lyle Creelman Endowment Fund
- University of British Columbia Nursing Research Grant
- cardiac arrest;
- hegemonic masculinity;
- men's health;
To explore how masculinities shape the experiences of men and their partners after survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
Survivors of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest report depression, dependence on others for daily functioning, decreased participation in society and significant decreases in quality of life. There is growing evidence that masculine gender identities play a central role in the recovery experiences of men and their families following other major cardiac events. However, to date, there has been no examination of how masculinities shape men's experiences of recovery following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
Interview study guided by an interpretive description approach. Data were subjected to thematic analysis.
A purposive sample of seven male sudden cardiac arrest survivors and 6 female partners was recruited in 2010 from a secondary care centre in British Columbia, Canada.
Three themes were prominent in the experiences of the participants: (1) Support and self-reliance; (2) Dealing with emotional (in) vulnerability; and (3) No longer a ‘He-man’.
Masculinities played a role in men's experiences of recovery and adaptation following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Hegemonic masculinity partly explained men's experiences, notably their reluctance to seek professional support and reactions to changes in lifestyle. However, the study also suggests that the popular stereotype of men being ‘strong and silent’ in the face of ill-health may only be a part of a more complex story. Nurses would benefit from taking into consideration the potential influence of male gender identities on men's recovery postcardiac arrest.