Fatigue After Myocardial Infarction: Relations to Stress, Coping and Sleep Quality
E. Brink1, U. Fredriksson-Larsson2, P. AlsÚn3
1University West, Department of Nursing, Health and Culture, Sweden
2University of Gothenburg, Institute of Health and Care Sciences, Sweden
3University of Gothenburg, Centre for Person-Centred Care, Sweden
Background: Fatigue after myocardial infarction has been described as an unpleasant and incomprehensible symptom that is difficult to cope with because it is unpredictable and not related to effort. The aim of the present study was to identify how post-myocardial infarction fatigue is related to stress, coping strategies and sleep quality. Methods: The sample consisted of 140 persons who, two months earlier, had been treated for myocardial infarction at a coronary care unit. They completed questionnaires with items on fatigue, perceived stress, copings strategies, and sleep quality. Findings: Fatigue was correlated with stress, sleep quality and coping strategies. Further, stress was the strongest predictor (p<0.001) of post-myocardial infarction fatigue after two months. Moreover, reevaluation (p<0.01), isolation (p<0.05), and minimization (p<0.05) of coping strategies were predictors associated with fatigue. Discussion: Ordinary heart disease rehabilitation programmes include advice about diet, smoking, physical activity and emotions. Thus, for all those who are limited in their daily activities by fatigue, standard care does not provide adequate support.