Charlotte Simonÿ, Pia Dreyer, Birthe D. Pedersen, Regner Birkelund

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPosterResearchpeer-review


Purpose. To improve the cardiac care and especially the cardiac rehabilitation, the patients’ perspectives should be better addressed. According to the National Danish Heart Plan for patients with unstable angina pectoris or non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction specialized out-patient cardiac rehabilitation during 1-2 months is offered after the acute treatment. Knowledge of the patients’ experiences of cardiac problems when receiving the current standards of treatment is needed in order to develop sufficient care.
Hence the aim was to investigate how patients with new onset unstable angina pectoris or non-St-elevation myocardial infarction experience their life situation.

Methods. Within a phenomenological-hermeneutic frame a qualitative design was chosen. Introductory field observations were made. Focus group interviews and individual interviews were conducted with 11 patients enrolled in the cardiac rehabilitation programme. The data underwent interpretation consisting of three phases: naïve reading, structural analysis and comprehensive interpretation.

Results. The preliminary findings are that the patients go through a Heart Shaking Journey in Cardiac Rehabilitation. Three themes emerged: Hard to accept the disease: facing the disease is a difficult surrender to the patients, leading to vulnerability and helplessness; Understanding that life has become frail: patients feel shaken in an existential way as they realize that the disease is chronical and life-threatening; An altered Life: patients need to adjust towards limitations in their everyday life.

Conclusions. Patients experience various demanding transitions when they are afflicted by heart disease. They are forced to realize that they besides surviving an acute life-threatening event are also suffering from a chronical severe disease which brings sweeping changes in their lives. Hereby the patients are challenged during the trajectory of cardiac rehabilitation. Care towards the integrity, which becomes vulnerable in these processes, is essential in order to support the cardiac patients to gain healthy transitions. Being together with peers in cardiac rehabilitation is found as a supportive facilitating factor towards the transitions. Therefore peer support seems to be an important factor which should remain in the future CR.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date14. Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 14. Jun 2015
EventEuroHeartCare - Dubrovnik, Croatia
Duration: 14. Jun 201514. Jun 2015




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