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Title: Biographical restorying following a heart attack
Author: Carver, Eileen
ISNI:       0000 0004 7427 0652
Awarding Body: University of Brighton
Current Institution: University of Brighton
Date of Award: 2017
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Coronary heart disease remains a leading cause of chronic illness in the world. Addressing lifestyle risk factors through health-related behaviour change is a key component of managing this condition. There is a lack of understanding from the patient’s perspective, of the ways in which information is used to support healthrelated behaviour change. This study sought an increased understanding of the social processes and interactions influencing individual health-related behaviour change after a heart attack. A constructivist grounded theory approach was used and narrative inquiry informed the development of the theory of biographical restorying following a heart attack. A symbolic interactionist framework facilitated an increased understanding of how the life story of those who had experienced a heart attack were shaped through interaction with their social world. Twenty-five semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 individuals. The interviews took place at approximately 3 weeks and 6 months after their heart attack. The theory of biographical restorying proposed four different narratives of life after a heart attack. Individuals told of lives that were either continuing as before or a struggle, limited or enhanced in response to the physical sensations they had experienced during their illness episode. The cycle of acting and reflecting on those sensations informed, adapted and reinforced both illness beliefs and health related concepts. Medical practitioners were the most valued source of knowledge for those who experienced a heart attack. However, illness perceptions interpreted by those who had experienced a heart attack were different to those of medical personnel. Participants of this study increased their lay-knowledge to create a narrative around the causes, consequences and controllability of their condition. The internet was not widely accessed for health-related information by this group. The theory offers insights into the timing of interventions designed to support the adaptation of specific illness beliefs and an approach to cardiac rehabilitation that is better to suited to the needs of an individual.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available