The emotional and educational needs of women during hospital admission after a myocardial infarction
Belle, E. van
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Background: Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death for women in the Netherlands, as well as globally, and the prevalence is increasing. Most research has been directed at men, and limited research is conducted to map the differences between men and women during their hospitalisation after a myocardial infarction (MI), despite known differences in emotional and educational needs. Research question: What are the emotional and educational needs of women after their first myocardial infarction during hospital admission? Methods: In-depth interviews were conducted with 10 female patients who were purposively sampled form a cardiac ward in an academic hospital in the Netherlands. Analysis of transcribed interviews was undertaken using constant comparative methods. Results: Many coping techniques were mentioned in dealing with the distress of the MI. Women wanted healthcare providers to support them in this matter and wanted them to involve their relatives in their care. Educational needs showed topics of which they wanted to be informed about (function of the heart, functional decline and handling the illness at home), that most prefer a conversation supported by written information, and wanting to have their family involved. Most accepted a passive role in decision-making, but wanted to be informed about medical decisions. Conclusion and implications of key findings: Women did not vary much in their emotional and educational needs from men, other than the tendency to use more emotion focussed strategies to cope with distress and expressing worries about their families. Many needs are directed at helping them cope with what happened and providing them with the information in a way they prefer. Patient centred care was deemed valuable by the respondents and could be a helpful tool to help women through this phase, but more research is needed.