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The male partners' experiences of the intimate relationships after a first myocardial infarction
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences. Department of Cardiology, Örebro University Hospital, Örebro, Sweden; Centre for Health Care Sciences, Örebro County Council, Örebro, Sweden.
Department of Health and Caring Sciences, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden; Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Section of Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
School of Health and Caring Sciences, Linnéaus University, Växjö, Sweden; School of Health Sciences, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden.
School of Health Sciences, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden; Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiology, County Hospital Ryhov, Jönkoping, Sweden.
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2011 (English)In: European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, ISSN 1474-5151, E-ISSN 1873-1953, Vol. 10, no 2, p. 108-114Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Stress in the intimate relationship is found to worsen the prognosis in women suffering from myocardial infarction (MI). Little is known about how male spouses experience the intimate relationship.

Aim: This study aimed to explore and describe the experience of men's intimate relationships in connection to and after their female partner's first MI.

Methods: An explorative and qualitative design was used. Interviews were conducted with 16 men having a partner who the year before had suffered a first MI. The data were analysed with qualitative content analysis.

Results: Three themes emerged: masculine image challenged; life takes another direction; and life remains unchanged. The men were forced to deal with an altered image of themselves as men, and as sexual beings. They were hesitant to approach their spouse in the same way as before the MI because they viewed her to be more fragile. The event also caused them to consider their own lifestyle, changing towards healthier dietary and exercise habits.

Conclusions: After their spouse's MI, men experienced a challenge to their masculine image. They viewed their spouse as being more fragile, which led the men to be gentler in sexual intimacy and more hesitant to invite sexual activity. This knowledge about how male spouses experience the intimate relationship could be helpful for health personnel in hospitals and primary care when they interact with couples where the woman suffers from cardiac disease or other chronic disorders. (C) 2010 European Society of Cardiology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 10, no 2, p. 108-114
Keywords [en]
Content analysis, Male, Myocardial infarction, Relationship, Sexuality, Spouses
National Category
Nursing Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
Research subject
Cardiology; Nursing Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-18699DOI: 10.1016/j.ejcnurse.2010.05.003ISI: 000291774700006PubMedID: 20573549Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-79955945006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-18699DiVA, id: diva2:444603
Note

Funding Agency; Research Committee of Orebro County Council 

Available from: 2011-09-29 Created: 2011-09-29 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved

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Arenhall, EvaNilsson, Ulrica

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