Spirituality in survivors of myocardial infarction

Marzieh Momennasab, Marzieh Moattari, Abbas Abbaszade, Babak Shamshiri


  • Background: Life-threatening and stressful events, such as myocardial infarction (MI) can lead to an actual crisis, which affects the patients spiritually as well as physically, psychologically, and socially. However, the focus of health care providers is on physical needs. Furthermore, the spirituality of the patients experiencing heart attack in the light of our cultural context is not well addressed in the literature. This study is aimed at exploring the spiritual experiences of the survivors of the MI.
  • Materials and Methods: In this qualitative research a grounded theory approach was used. Key informants were 9 MI patients hospitalized in the coronary care units of 3 hospitals in Shiraz. In addition, 7 nurses participated in the study. In-depth interviews and a focus group were used to generate data. Data analysis was done based on Strauss and Corbin method. Constant comparison analysis was performed until data saturation.
  • Results: Five main categories emerged from the data, including perceived threat, seeking spiritual support, referring to religious values, increasing faith, and realization. The latter with its 3 subcategories was recognized as core category and represents a deep understanding beyond knowing. At the time of encountering MI, spirituality provided hope, strength, and peace for the participants.
  • Conclusion: Based on the results we can conclude that connecting to God, religious values, and interconnectedness to others are the essential components of the participants’ spiritual experience during the occurrence of MI. Spirituality helps patients to overcome this stressful life-threatening situation.
  • Key words: Grounded theory, heart attack, myocardial infarction, qualitative research, religion, spirituality

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