Longitudinal Changes in Coping for Spouses of Post–Myocardial Infarction Patients

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Western Journal of Nursing Research

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Spouses are the key in the recovery and coping of patients after a myocardial infarction (MI). The purpose of this study was to examine changes in coping for spouses of post-MI patients over time. The study determined the contributions of a spouse’s demographic factors and of time since the MI to the changes in coping. A secondary data analysis from the Patients’ and Families’ Psychological Response to Home Automated External Defibrillator Trial was conducted. On average, older spouses coped better than younger spouses. Coping significantly decreased over time. The spouse’s coping decreased for spouses whose baseline coping was higher. Coping decreased more rapidly for spouses of patients who experienced an MI more recently. Patients and spouses need support to improve coping after an MI.