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Eur J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2003 Apr;2(1):19-25.

Women's health after a first myocardial infarction: a comprehensive perspective on recovery over a 4-year period.

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School of Social and Health Sciences, Halmstad University, Halmstad, Sweden.



Little attention has so far been focused on follow ups of women's long-term recovery after a myocardial infarction (MI), especially from a comprehensive perspective.


The aim of this study was to prospectively determine women's self-rated health after a first MI from a comprehensive perspective on recovery over a 4-year period.


Consecutively chosen women (n=240) who had suffered a first MI were asked to complete a self-rated questionnaire regarding health (including not only biophysical, but also behavioral, emotional, social and working conditions) before being discharged from hospital as well as 1 and 4 years later. The results were analyzed by descriptive and inferential statistics.


Health improvements, especially during the first year, could be observed in the women's behavioral condition regarding their attitude to diet consciousness, exercise, simultaneous capability and smoking behavior as well as in the emotional condition regarding their stressful life events, depressed mood and loss of control. In the social condition, the women considered that the healthcare professionals had improved their support over time as well as treating the women's complaints more seriously. Regarding the working condition, the women felt that they were being controlled at work, especially during the first year after the MI.


Based on a comprehensive perspective on women's recovery after a first MI, a favorable development of the women's health was observed in the behavioral and emotional conditions while deterioration in the social and working conditions was observed over time. Thus, further efforts are needed in the two latter conditions by means of further studies in combination with greater support from healthcare professionals.

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