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Nursing Research and Practice
Volume 2012, Article ID 674783, 9 pages
Research Article

Coping Experiences: A Pathway towards Different Coping Orientations Four and Twelve Months after Myocardial Infarction—A Grounded Theory Approach

1Department of Nursing Science, University of Tampere, Pirkanmaa Hospital District, Science Center, Finland
2Mari Salminen-Tuomaala, School of Health Care and Social Work, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, Koskenalantie 17, 60220 Seinäjoki, Finland
3Matti Rekiaro, Centre For Pharmacotherapy Development, The Hospital District of Southern Ostrobothnia, Central Hospital, Hanneksenrinne 7, 60220 Seinäjoki, Finland
4Department of Nursing Science, University of Tampere, Etelä-Pohjanmaa Hospital District, Finland

Received 19 May 2012; Revised 21 September 2012; Accepted 19 October 2012

Academic Editor: Sabina DeGeest

Copyright © 2012 Mari Salminen-Tuomaala et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Patients recovering from a myocardial infarction (MI) are faced with a number of serious challenges. Aim. To create a substantive theory on myocardial infarction patients’ coping as a continuum. Methods. Grounded theory method was used. Data were collected by using individual interviews. The informants were 28 MI patients. Results. The core category “coping experiences—a pathway towards different coping orientations” includes 2 main categories: “positive and negative coping experiences” (4 months after MI) and “different coping orientations” (12 months after MI). Conclusion. Coping with a myocardial infarction is a long-term dynamic process of dealing with varied emotions and adjustment needs. Coping is threatened, if the patient denies the seriousness of the situation, suffers from depression and emotional exhaustion, or if there are serious problems in the interaction with family members. This study stresses the importance of recognizing the patient’s depressive state of mind and the psychological aspects which affect family dynamics. A more family-centered approach involving a posthospital counseling intervention is recommended. Relevance to Clinical Practice. The results of this study can be used in nursing care practice when organizing support interventions for myocardial infarction patients.