Background: Delay from onset of acute myocardial infarction symptoms to the delivery of medical care is a major determinant of prognosis. Although studies have explored patient reasons for delay, there are only limited data concerning experiences of the spouse.
Aim: Was to describe spouses conceptions of the pre-hospital phase when their partners suffered an acute myocardial infarction.
Method: A phenomenographic approach was applied. Fifteen spouses were interviewed <48 h after the partners hospital admittance.
Findings: Two categories with underlying sub-categories conceptualised the spouses experiences. The category being resourceful contained: sharing the experience, having knowledge, understanding the severity, being rational, and consulting others. The category respecting independence contained: accepting the need for control, marital roles and experiences, restraining emotions, and seeking agreement.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that spouses have a strong influence on the course of events. When accepting the partners need for control through following earlier marital roles and experiences, restraining own emotions and seeking agreement, this seemed to contribute to delay. However, when the spouse was resourceful by sharing the experience, having knowledge, understanding the severity, being rational and consulting others when needed, this seemed to have a positive influence on the pre-hospital time.
2008. Vol. 7, no 3, 182-188 p.
Acute myocardial infarction, Spouses, Decision-making, Delay, Pre-hospital phase, Phenomenography