Standing alone when life takes an unexpected turn: Being a midlife next of kin of a relative who has suffered a myocardial infarction

Document type: Journal Articles
Article type: Original article
Peer reviewed: Yes
Author(s): Ewa Andersson, Gunilla Borglin, Annica Sjöström-Strand, Ania Willman
Title: Standing alone when life takes an unexpected turn: Being a midlife next of kin of a relative who has suffered a myocardial infarction
Journal: Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Year: 2013
Volume: 27
Issue: 4
Pagination: 864-871
ISSN: 0283-9318
Publisher: Blackwell
URI/DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-6712.2012.01094.x
Organization: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Department: School of Health Science (Sektionen för hälsa)
School of Health Science S-371 79 Karlskrona
+46 455 38 50 00
http://www.bth.se/hal/
Language: English
Abstract: Background: Suffering a myocardial infarction (MI) is a life-threatening event that impacts not only on the individual concerned but also on the next of kin. However, there seems to be a paucity of naturalistic inquiries that focus specifically on midlife next of kin and their experience of being close to a relative who has suffered an MI. This study aims to elucidate the experience of being a midlife next of kin of a relative who has suffered a myocardial infarction. Method: Nine women and four men in midlife participated in the focused interviews, which were conducted and analysed during 2010/2011 using Lindseths and Norbergs' description of the phenomenological hermeneutical method. Findings: Four themes - Solely responsible, Lurking unease, Left out of the picture and Life on hold - formed the basis of the core theme Standing alone when life takes an unexpected turn. The core theme was interpreted as a central phenomenon encompassing the experience of being solely responsible for the well-being of their relative and the family, thus putting their own life on hold. The core theme also reflected the next of kin's experience of being left out of the picture when it came to the relative's care before and after the MI. Conclusion: The next of kin's negative feelings of standing alone were further intensified by their experience of being left out of the picture by the healthcare professionals concerning their relative's care. As a cardiac nurse, it would seem essential to have knowledge about the experiences of next of kin in connection with a relative's MI event. Such knowledge can facilitate the planning and organisation of nursing care and at the same time address the next of kin's role in the recovery and rehabilitation process.
Subject: Nursing & Caring Sciences\General
Keywords: Experience; Intervention; Next of kin; Nursing; Phenomenological hermeneutics; Qualitative research
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