Concerns and Risk Factor Modification in Women During the Year After Coronary Artery Surgery

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coronary artery surgery, recovery, women


Background: Future plans or return to a usual lifestyle has been shown to be of concern to persons recovering from coronary artery surgery. However it is not clear whether early concerns remain stable or evolve over time.

Objective: To examine women's concerns about having coronary artery surgery and living with coronary artery disease after surgery over time.

Methods: Concerns and risk factor modification strategies were measured in 55 women at 1, 6, and 12 months after coronary artery surgery. The Carr and Powers Stressor Scale and an investigator-developed interview were used.

Results: Women's primary concerns shifted over the year from surgical recovery to living with coronary heart disease. At 1 month after surgery, issues related to future plans, such as progress in recovery and resuming lifestyle, were rated as causing the most concern. Concern about diet was the highest rated concern 1 year after surgery. More than half of the women reported exercising more, and approximately three fourths reported eating a better diet 1 year after surgery.

Conclusions: The findings demonstrate that women are concerned about diet and exercise, and many women attempt to change their behavior. Capitalizing on women's concerns about living with coronary artery disease may help address risk factors. However, specialized interventions may be needed that focus on women who are not concerned about and/or not engaged in risk reduction behaviors.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Nursing Research, v. 49, issue 3, p. 167-172