Emotional Reaction, Health Preoccupation and Sexual Activity Two Months After a Myocardial Infarction
I Wiklund, H Sanne, D Elmfeldt, A Vedin, C Wilhelmsson
Emotional reaction, health preoccupation and sexual adjustment two months after a first myocardial infarction (MI) were studied in relation to social, psychological and somatic factors prior to, during and after the MI in 201 consecutive male patients. Psychological and social data were covered by means of questionnaires and a brief interview and somatic data by a standardized medical examination. New concepts were introduced after factor analysis. The degree of preoccupation varied very much and was considered as a reaction to the diagnosis of MI. Seventy-nine percent of the patients complained about fatigue and 65% felt anxious and depressed. Fatigue and nervousness were regarded by the patients as more disabling than cardiac symptoms. Emotional distress was related to a previous history of emotional complaints and to psychological factors and self-reported coronary symptoms but was unrelated to severity of the infarction, medically rated cardiac symptoms, demographic and social data. Sexual maladjustment, mainly due to fear, was frequent and associated with both emotional and somatic variables. Emotional disturbance after MI is considerable and further measures ought to be taken in order to prevent future disability.
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