Evid Based Nurs 4:64 doi:10.1136/ebn.4.2.64
  • Qualitative

Elderly women described 5 phases of living with change after myocardial infarction

 QUESTION: What are elderly women's perceptions about having a myocardial infarction (MI)?


Exploratory design using a qualitative approach.


Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


11 women (70–85 y) who were identified in 2 large tertiary care hospitals. Inclusion criteria were age ≥70 years, a first MI, 8 weeks post-MI and had not received coronary artery bypass surgery, ability to speak and read English, ability to reflect on and verbalise perceptions and experiences, and residence within the city limits.


Women participated in unstructured interviews in their homes. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribedverbatim. Content analysis was done and emerging themes were grouped into categories. Pattern coding was done to identify and explain emerging patterns. More comprehensive categories were developed for a more integrated understanding of events. Categories and themes were validated in telephone interviews with participants.

Main findings

Older women perceived the experience of having an MI as living with change. Throughout their experience, they faced challenges of being in control, managing uncertainty, making sense, being independent, and sheltering others. Having …

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