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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787


VILA, Vanessa da Silva Carvalho; ROSSI, Lídia Aparecida  and  COSTA, Maria Cristina Silva. Heart disease experience of adults undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting surgery. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2008, vol.42, n.4, pp.750-756.  Epub June 27, 2008. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE:To evaluate the meanings of heart disease experience in patients undergoing rehabilitation post-coronary artery bypass grafting surgery. METHODS:Ethnographic study carried out between 2003 and 2005 in the city Goiânia, Central-West Brazil. Direct observation and in-depth interviews were conducted in 11 patients undergoing rehabilitation post- coronary artery bypass grafting surgery. Using an interpretative anthropology approach, data were gathered in narrative documents and analyzed through the identification of units of meanings and thematic groups. RESULTS:Disease-related meanings included heart disease realization, triggered feelings, formulated explanations, surgery acceptance and post-surgery life. Heart disease experience was understood as a biographic rupture, a situation between life and death, disability, loss of autonomy, inability to work. The meanings, analytically constructed, followed a logic that articulated common sense, religion and fragments of medical discourse for the understanding of disease and surgery. CONCLUSIONS: The study results showed that heart disease and surgery experience mark a rupture in the patient's lifestyle, work and their understanding of the health-disease process. The disease experience approach contributes to transcend the limits of a medical model based on disease, its symptoms and causes, and characterized by a biomedical understanding of the health-disease process focused on biological and/or psychological malfunctioning.

Keywords : Cardiomyopathies [rehabilitation]; Self care; Psychosocial Impact; Anthropology, Cultural; Qualitative Research.

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