Living with Unstable Coronary Artery Disease

Marcie M. Tempel, Illinois Wesleyan University


Coronary artery disease (CAD) remains a leading cause of mortality and morbidity in the United States. CAD can be a long term, recurrent health problem placing a heavy burden on the afflicted individual. Although the mean age of individuals experiencing their first clinical symptoms of CAD is usually reported to be in the fifth or sixth decade of life, individuals may also experience symptoms of disease at an earlier age when actively engaged in career, family, and vigorous leisure activities. There is a sparsity of experiential information and nurses need to be sensitive to the psychosocial impact of this experience on daily living. This study proposes to examine the lived experience of one middle-aged man with unstable CAD using qualitative research methods.