A descriptive study of the behavioral characteristics of myocardial infarction patients during the acute phase.

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Publication Type thesis
School or College College of Nursing
Department Nursing
Author Bigos, Karen Hartnett
Title A descriptive study of the behavioral characteristics of myocardial infarction patients during the acute phase.
Date 1979-03
Description This study dealt with the behavioral characteristics of MI patients during the acute phase of hospitalization. The original problem in this study was to determine whether a group of non-deniers who received consistent supportive Nursing; intervention had lower scores on a measure of anxiety and depression than a group of deniers when the perceived health status of the group did not decline. Subjects were divided into denier and non-denier groups on the basis of their response to the following question, “Did you feel afraid, frightened, or apprehensive at any time during your hospital stay so far� (Hackett et al., 1968; Gentry et al., 1972). Those who unequivocally responded “no†were labeled “deniers†and those who responded in a positive fashion were labeled “non-deniers.†The population from which the sample was derived consisted of all mail and female patients admitted to the CCU for the first time with a diagnosis of actual or suspected MI. Those who were excluded from the study were (1) those who could not speak English;, (2) those with prior experience in the CCU, (3) those physiologically unable to participate, (4) patients receiving steroids, (5) patients with a health profession background, and (6) patients with a known psychiatric history. A pilot study was conducted to determine the feasibility of the proposed investigation. The results revealed an inequality in the number of subjects in the denier and non-denier groups such that the collection of data on the proposed groups would be difficult. The direction of the investigation was altered to determine if denial was more prevalent among those hospitalized for a first MI. The study population included all subjects hospitalized with a diagnosis of actual or suspected MI. All other criteria for exclusion still applied. The study design was descriptive. A group of subjects hospitalized for a first MI (N=15) were compared with a group of subjects hospitalized for more than one MI (N=13) on the following variables. (1) denial, (2) anxiety, (3) depression, (4) delay, (5) length of stay in the coronary care unit, (6) perceived health status, and (7) cumulative intake of tranquilizing medications during the first five hospital days. Within 24 hours of admission to the CCU, each subject was asked to estimate the time delay between the first experienced symptoms and when the patient sought medical help. The subject was asked to complete the State and Trait Scales of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and to rate his current and general health on a 10-point scale. On the third hospital day, the subject was asked to complete the Self-Rating Depression Scale. On the fifth hospital day, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Self-Rating Depression were again administered. The subject rated his current and general health on the same 10-point scale and denial was assessed according to the methodology stated above. Records were kept of the length of the subject’s stay in the CCU and his intake of tranquilizing medications during the first five hospital days. Physiological parameters of health status were monitored daily to determine the ability of the subject to continue to the study. The study population included 28 subjects ages 28 to 70 years. Twenty-three of the subjects were male and five were female. Fifteen were hospitalized for a first MI and 13 had a previous cardiac history. The major finding of the study was the prevalence of the use of denial during the acute phase of a MI. Seventy-five percent of the subjects were deniers (N=7). Those with a previous cardiac history were able to use denial as effectively as those hospitalized for a first MI. There were no statistically significant differences between the groups of MI patients on the State scale of the STAI. This finding supported that of previous studies that denial was effective in controlling anxiety. Those with previous cardiac history had a significantly higher intake of tranquilizing medication during the first five hospital days than those hospitalized for a first MI. The difference was statistically significant. The use of tranquilizers may masks the perception of state of anxiety. Those with a previous cardiac history had significantly higher anxiety trait scores on the fifth hospital day than those hospitalized for a first MI. Higher anxiety state scores would be expected (Spielberger et al., 1970) , but were not statistically significant. Since the concept of denial was central to the study, deniers (N=7) and non-deniers (N=21) were compared on the variables in order to analyze trends in the data. The findings in this study support those of pervious studies with one notable exception. Subjects with a previous cardiac history were not more anxious than those hospitalized for a first MI. This would seem to be due to the fact that the use of denial was effective in both groups although the intake of tranquilizers was higher in the non-denier group. The difference was statistically significant. Deniers had lower scores on the state scale of the STAI on both days on and five of hospitalization. The difference was statistically significant on the fifth hospital day. Denial was not effective in controlling depression as there were no statistically significant differences between the groups on either day three or day five. Non-deniers tended to consistently rate their current and general health scores lower on the scale than deniers. The difference in scores was statistically significant only for general health rating scores on the first hospital day. The small size of the non-denier group on doubt affected the discrimination of differences. Delay and length of stay in the CCU were not affected by denial.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Nursing; Anxiety
Subject MESH Myocardial Infarction; Psychology
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name MS
Language eng
Relation is Version of Digital reproduction of “A descriptive study of the behavioral characteristics of myocardial infarction patients during the acute phase.” Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library. Print version of ”A descriptive study of the behavioral characteristics of myocardial infarction patients during the acute phase.” available at J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collection. RC 39.5 1979 B53.
Rights Management © Karen Hartnett Bigos, To comply with copyright, the file for this work may be restricted to The University of Utah campus libraries pending author permission.
Format Medium application/pdf
Identifier us-etd2,88849
Source Original: University of Utah Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library (no longer available).
ARK ark:/87278/s6g454zb
ID 194022
setname ir_etd
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/details?id=194022