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Coronary heart disease: causes and drug treatment - spouses’ conceptions
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Health, Activity, Care. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Studies in Adult, Popular and Higher Education. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5066-8728
Linköping University, Department of Medicine and Health Sciences, Cardiology . Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Heart Centre, Department of Cardiology.
2004 (English)In: Journal of Clinical Nursing, ISSN 0962-1067, Vol. 13, no 2, 167-176 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background. Spouses are important in the rehabilitation process of their partner after coronary heart disease event. Their knowledge and attitudes have an impact on their support to the partner concerning lifestyle changes and drug treatment after an event.

Aims and objectives. To explore spouses' conceptions concerning causes of coronary heart disease and drug treatment 1 year after the partner's cardiac event.

Design. Qualitative with an empirical and inductive approach.

Methods. Semi-structured interviews with strategically selected spouses (17 women and eight men) were taped. The transcripts were analysed within the phenomenographic framework.

Results. Spouses' conceptions about causes of coronary heart disease and its treatment consisted of correct facts, as judged on a lay level, less elaborated conceptions and misconceptions. Among causes of coronary heart disease, the spouses were most knowledgeable about fat intake. They knew less about contributions from inactivity, stress and smoking. Ambivalent feelings were expressed about benefits vs. side effects of drugs. The treatment was conceived as necessary for the heart, but harmful for other organs. Men and women were evenly distributed in most of the derived categories. More women than men considered stress as a cause of coronary heart disease and also misconceived physical exercise to cause the disease.

Conclusion. A variation of spouses' conceptions was revealed about causes of coronary heart disease and drug treatment. There was a lack of understanding concerning important parts of cardiac rehabilitation activities. These misconceptions may have implications by influencing their partner's co-operative behaviour.

Relevance to clinical practice. Spouses' pre-existing conceptions of coronary heart disease and its treatment should be considered in the rehabilitation process of their partner. Couples with misconceptions should be given the opportunity to increase qualitatively their knowledge starting from their point of view rather than from that of the professional perspective.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 13, no 2, 167-176 p.
Keyword [en]
cardiovascular disease, causal attributions, drug treatment, phenomenography, risk factors, spouses
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13742DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2702.2003.00871.xOAI: diva2:21242
Available from: 2005-12-23 Created: 2005-12-23 Last updated: 2013-09-03
In thesis
1. Patients’ and Spouses’ Perspectives on Coronary Heart Disease and its Treatment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Patients’ and Spouses’ Perspectives on Coronary Heart Disease and its Treatment
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: Lifestyle changes and drug treatment can improve the prognosis and quality of life for patients with coronary heart disease (CHD), but their co-operation with suggested treatment is often limited. The aim of this thesis was to study how patients and their spouses conceive CHD and its treatment.

Material and Methods: The research design used was inductive and descriptive. The studies were based on three complementary sets of data. Patients with CHD (n=23) and spouses (n=25) were interviewed one year after an episode of the disease. Consecutive patients with CHD derived from another investigation were interviewed within six weeks or one year after the coronary event (n=113). All semi-structured interviews, tape-recorded or from notes taken by hand, were subjected to analysis within the phenomenographic framework.

Findings: The patients’ conceptions of CHD varied and were vague, even as judged on a lay level. They were associated with symptoms rather than with the disease. Co-operation with drug treatment was rarely linked to improved prognosis. The patients’ descriptions of benefits from lifestyle changes and treatment did not give the impression of being based on a solid understanding of the importance of such changes. Incentives for lifestyle changes were classified into four categories, all of which contained both facilitating and constraining incentives. Somatic incentives featured direct and indirect physical signals. Social/practical incentives involved shared concerns, changed conditions, and factors connected with external environment. Cognitive incentives were characterised by active decisions and appropriated knowledge, but also by passive compliance with limited insights, and by the creating of routines. Affective incentives comprised fear and reluctance related to lifestyle changes and disease and also lessened self-esteem. All incentives mostly functioned facilitatively. The cognitive and the social/practical incentives were the most prevalent.

Spouses’ understanding about the causes of CHD involved both appropriate conceptions and misconceptions. Drug treatment was considered necessary for the heart, but harmful to other organs. Spouses’ support to partners was categorised, and found to be contextually bound. The participative role was co-operative and empathetic. The regulative role controlled and demanded certain behaviours. The observational role was passive, compliant, and empathetic. The incapacitated role was empathetic, unable to support, and positive to changes. The dissociative role was negative to changes and reluctant to be involved in lifestyle changes.

Conclusions: These results could be useful in the planning of care and education for CHD patients. The findings also emphasise the importance of adopting a family perspective to meet the complex needs of these patients and their spouses in order to facilitate appropriate lifestyle changes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen för medicin och vård, 2005
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 849
Causal attributions, coronary disease, drug treatment, lifestyle changes, phenomenography, patient adherence, spouses
National Category
Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-5264 (URN)91-7373-824-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2004-05-19, Täppan 1, Täppan, Campus Norrköping, Linköpings universitet, Norrköping, 09:00 (English)
On the day of the public defence of the doctoral thesis the status of article V was Submitted.Available from: 2005-12-23 Created: 2005-12-23 Last updated: 2013-09-03

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Kärner, AnitaAbrandt Dahlgren, MadeleineBergdahl, Björn
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