Cardiac Rehabilitation Attendance and Women: A Straussian Grounded Theory

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Cardiac rehabilitation is a multidisciplinary intervention, designed to improve the life of the post myocardial infarction patient and reduce their morbidity and mortality. Although the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation apply equally to women as they do to men, research shows that patient non-attendance, particularly among elderly women, is an important problem. Several studies have suggested possible reasons for this, but it is difficult to draw conclusions since the evidence is based almost exclusively on men under 70.

    This qualitative doctoral study set out to explore some of the factors that influence cardiac rehabilitation attendance in women following a myocardial infarction. Using a feminist informed Straussian grounded theory research approach, 25 post myocardial infarction women were interviewed about their cardiac rehabilitation programme.

    Analysis of the data suggests that for the women who took part in this study having a myocardial infarction affected the women's sense of Self resulting in changes to the way they lived. Choosing to attend for post myocardial infarction cardiac rehabilitation had a positive impact upon the women ultimately leading to a 'Restoration of Self.' This restorative process, in turn, influenced cardiac rehabilitation attendance.

    The grounded theory of Strauss was used as this approach facilitates the development of theory and suited this study's aim of exploring the process of women's attendance at CR programmes. By adopting a feminist informed Straussian grounded theory approach, a 'Restoration of Self theory was developed to explain continued cardiac rehabilitation attendance in women.

    Information gained from this study could be used to inform the development of gender specific cardiac rehabilitation programmes.
    Date of AwardMay 2007
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorJim Richardson (Supervisor) & Sandy Kirkman (Supervisor)


    • Heart Diseases
    • Heart Patients
    • Heart Rehabilitation

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