The Meaning of Stress in Men Who Have Sustained a Myocardial Infarction
To illuminate stress as it is experienced in the everyday life of men between the ages of 50-70 who have had a myocardial infarction, a sample of ten men were individually interviewed. A control group consisting of ten men who stated that they were healthy and who resided in a rural community setting was contrasted with the sample group. The conceptual framework for this study was based on Parse's (1985) nursing theory, Man-Living-Health. Denzin's (1989) interpretive interactionism methodology was used for data analysis. Results showed chronic stress followed by a period of no stress, then another period of stress followed shortly by MI in the study group. Although the control group experienced significant stress, they were able to achieve balance in their lives perhaps due to increased imphasis [sic] on spiritual values. The Holmes & Rahe scale proved of controversial value. This research promotes human participation in health, individual control of health and has implications for nursing autonomy. When the person is overpowered by environment or health, balance can be restored with the person at the center and in control with environment and health in proper perspective. Key words: stress, lived experience, myocardial infarction, interpretive interactionism, and epiphany.