Life course of people with coronary artery disease

J Clin Nurs. 1999 Nov;8(6):701-11. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2702.1999.00314.x.


The purpose of this study was to describe the life course of coronary artery disease patients from their own perspective at the onset of coronary artery disease and during both the in-patient period and the one-year period of aftercare. Nineteen people selected from a population of 200 patients who had undergone either coronary artery bypass surgery or percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty were available for thematic interviews. Interviews were conducted one year after the treatment in the subject's homes. Analyses revealed two distinct types of life course; accepting and progressive, as opposed to non-accepting and regressive. Participants who represented an accepting and progressive life course achieved a better level of rehabilitation than those with a non-accepting and regressive life course. If health care personnel are able to identify the problems related to a non-accepting, regressive life course, they will be better able to support patients' individual life course planning. According to the present findings, a rehabilitation programme is particularly needed for patients with acute onset of coronary artery disease at a relatively early age, disruption of an active working career, financial problems, dissatisfaction with outcome of treatment, family problems and a dismal view of the future. The findings challenge health care personnel to listen to coronary patients' own experiences.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary / psychology
  • Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary / rehabilitation
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Convalescence / psychology*
  • Coronary Artery Bypass / psychology
  • Coronary Artery Bypass / rehabilitation
  • Coronary Disease / psychology*
  • Coronary Disease / rehabilitation*
  • Disease Progression*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Psychological
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Sick Role*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires