Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Heart attacks can give couples a new lease of life says study

28.02.2007
A third of people who suffer heart attacks discover new meaning to their lives and reconnect with their partner, but others see it as a threat to their well-ordered existence, according to research published in the latest Journal of Advanced Nursing.

Researchers from Switzerland and the USA teamed up to explore the in-depth experiences of 24 couples to see whether the experience had changed their lives and their relationships.

“All the couples experienced a brush with death at the onset of the disease which called for changes in their lifestyle” says lead researcher Dr Romy Mahrer-Imhof, from the Institute of Nursing at the University of Basel, Switzerland.

“Three distinct patterns of dealing with the patient’s heart attack emerged. People either made positive changes to their lives, felt negative about the experience or tried to turn their lives around but failed.”

Nine couples reported that the heart attack was an important and necessary event which had brought them closer together and transformed their lives.

“He used to be a very normal person but then he became reserved” said one partner. “When he suffered the heart attack he emerged transformed. He is much more open, much more relaxed. Now we can speak together again. We have succeeded in turning our lives around.”

This particular couple had also made practical changes to their lives.

“For example, I don’t do the grocery shopping anymore” she adds. “He goes now with the bike – cycling is good for him and it brings him out from behind the computer.”

Ten couples said that they felt fearful and threatened by the fact that they had no control over an unpredictable future.

“The physician who tested me said my heart is not good” said one patient.” I could not understand it. Why did this happen to me? I was always careful to eat healthy food and I never smoked.”

“We are always a bit worried” added his wife. “We planned a trip, but now we have to let that go. I know I don’t need to be anxious, but it is hard to plan for the future when he is not healthy.”

The remaining five couples looked at various possibilities for positive change as the result of the heart attack. But they did not achieve them and felt that they had missed their chance to make things better.

One partner in her mid 60s talked about how she wanted her husband to take more exercise, work less and spend more time with her after his heart attack.

“Work and other things are much more important than that we spend time together” she said. “I have to rely on myself. I do not want to wait and be frustrated all the time. I could start nagging – how awful. So we live as we did before.”

The study focussed on patients who had been hospitalised in north-west Switzerland in the last year after an acute cardiac event, together with their partners. The patients had all attended a cardiac rehabilitation programme.

All the study couples had been in a stable relationship for at least a year and none had a coexisting terminal illness or mental disability or were receiving counselling at the time of the study.

83 per cent of the patients were married men, with an average age of 61, and their wives were slightly younger, with an average age of 58. Relationships ranged from four to 60 years, with a median of 35.

92 per cent had children and 50 per cent also had grandchildren.

The majority (92 per cent) had coronary heart disease and eight per cent had valve failure. 54 per cent received catheterisation, 38 per cent had surgery and eight per cent received other treatments.

The interviewers spoke to each couple together for about an hour and a half and followed this up with individual one-hour interviews with each of the 24 patients and their partners.

“Many patients, particularly women, don’t attend rehabilitation programmes and this is something that needs to be addressed during their stay in hospital” says Dr Mahrer-Imhof.

“Our findings also support arguments for increasing the involvement of couples in rehabilitation programmes so that support can be tailored to their own individual relationship.

“For example, counselling could provide these couples with more choices about how to negotiate more intimacy in a relationship in which each partner’s needs and wants are respected.

“Group session are also useful as they show people how other couples deal with similar situations, helping them to conquer fear and find new ways of living, despite the illness.”

Annette Whibley | alfa
Further information:
http://www.blackwell-synergy.com
http://www.journalofadvancednursing.com

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

nachricht Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease

22.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Meter-sized single-crystal graphene growth becomes possible

22.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Repairing damaged hearts with self-healing heart cells

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>