Purpose: Self-care is an essential component of secondary prevention of coronary artery disease (CAD) for rural women after undergoing invasive coronary interventions (ICI). The purpose of the study was to describe self-care behavior experiences of rural women with CAD post-ICI. The specific aims were: to identify and describe self-care behaviors initiated by rural women post-ICI; and to identify and describe barriers to and facilitators of self-care behavior adoption. The language used to describe self-care can be different between health care providers, who are guided by the American Heart Association (AHA), and rural women whose descriptions are based on their life experiences.
Methods: Qualitative descriptive methods were used to purposefully sample women (N=10) from two rural Arizona counties. Data were collected using semi-structured face-to-face interviews, lasting approximately 25minutes. Atlas.ti Mac Version 1.5.2 (462) was used for data analysis.
Findings: Aim 1: Healthy diet was the most common self-care behavior described by rural women. When describing self-care behaviors, rural women used a different language, which was in alignment with AHA guidelines for self-care behaviors. Aim 2: Themes identified and described for barriers were: residential environment, health and physical ailments, family conditions, and personal characteristics; and for facilitators were relationships, available resources, and personal outcomes.
Conclusions: Regardless of poor health-promoting environment, such as unavailability of fresh food stores and access to exercise opportunities rural women took advantage of what they had to keep healthy. They performed self-care behaviors that they described as good for their health and made them happy without associating them the expected self-care behaviors to prevent reoccurrences and complications post-ICI. Rural health care providers must recognize these challenges, acknowledge the positive assets wihin rural women, and incorporate them into the programs for self-care behavior modification strategies.
Keywords: Self-care, rural women, coronary artery disease, invasive coronary interventions
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