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Health Psychology Report
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4/2014
vol. 2
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Posttraumatic growth in patients after myocardial infarction: the role of cognitive coping and experience of life threat

Władysław Łosiak, Joanna Nikiel

Health Psychology Report, 2(4), 256–262
Online publish date: 2014/10/16
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Background

Posttraumatic growth is described as a process of restructuring of experience and positive changes in life attitudes. According to theoretical postulates, posttraumatic growth is a result of adaptive coping strategies that have cognitive character.

The aim of the study was to evaluate relationships between posttraumatic growth, cognitive coping strategies and the severity of life threat experience in a group of patients who had experienced myocardial infarction.



Participants and procedure

Fifty-three patients who had experienced their first myocardial infarction (32 men and 21 women) participated in the study and completed questionnaires measuring posttraumatic growth and cognitive coping strategies as well as a rating scale measuring the severity of life threat experience during the infarction.



Results

The results indicate that posttraumatic growth in general and in the aspect of changes in self, relationships or affirmation of life was related to cognitive coping strategies. In the case of spiritual changes, severity of life threat experience was significant while coping was not. Patients’ gender, age or post-myocardial infarction time appeared to be non-significant.



Conclusions

Generally, theories postulating that posttraumatic growth is a result of cognitive coping strategies found some support. Moreover, it may be concluded that posttraumatic growth appears only in some percentage of persons experiencing a specific trauma of myocardial infarction.
keywords:

posttraumatic growth; coping; myocardial infarction

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