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Patients with coronary artery disease adopted an accepting, progressive life course or a non-accepting, regressive life course

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QUESTION: How do patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) experience their life course in the year after surgery?




Oulu, Finland.


10 women and 9 men who had severe CAD and had been treated with either coronary artery bypass grafting or percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty.


Individual interviews of 90–120 minutes were conducted 1 year after treatment and addressed the course of treatment and patients' everyday experiences. Analysis proceeded according to Giorgi's method.

Main findings

2 types of general life course narratives were revealed: an accepting, progressive life course and a non-accepting, regressive life course, which differed in terms of the life situation, meaning of illness, and attitudes toward everyday life, work, family, and the future.

Patients who had an accepting, progressive life course were mostly older and living on an old age or disability pension after the onset of CAD. They were relieved to have a conclusive diagnosis of CAD, were content with the outcome of …

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  • Source of funding: Finnish Academy.

  • For correspondence: H Lukkarinen, Department of Nursing Science and Health Administration, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Box 5000, FIN-90014 Oulu, Finland. Fax +358 8 553 4433.