Women's experiences with cardiac rehabilitation: participation and non-participation

Lone Schou*, Birte Østergaard Jensen, Ann-Dorthe O. Zwisler, Lis Wagner

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde


Coronary Heart Disease is a major cause of death in women. Evidence shows that Cardiac Rehabilitation can reduce morbidity and mortality while improving mental well-being and promotes a return to social roles. Little is known, however, about women's experiences with Cardiac Rehabilitation.
To describe the experiences of women who participated, and those who did not participate in Cardiac Rehabilitation after myocardial infarction.
One year after discharge, six women treated for myocardial infarction took part in two focus group interviews. The interviews were tape-recorded verbatim, analysed and categorised using constant comparative analysis.
The mean age of the women was 72 years. They had an education level of 7th Grade, and were all retired. All CR participants had undergone Coronary Artery By-pass Graft surgery, unlike the non-participants. Analysis revealed experiences related to crises, preventing another coronary, gender roles and family life.
It seems that the women, who participated in Cardiac Rehabilitation, were able to eliminate their risk factors, including smoking, inactivity and unhealthy diet, in contrast to those who did not participate. The women in both groups had difficulties in accepting help. Therefore future Cardiac Rehabilitation programmes should challenge women's traditional role in the family.
TidsskriftNordic Journal of Nursing Research
Udgave nummer4
StatusUdgivet - 2008


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