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Appraisal and illness delay with symptoms of ACS: A questionnaire study of illness representations

Farquharson B, Johnston M & Bugge C (2012) Appraisal and illness delay with symptoms of ACS: A questionnaire study of illness representations, British Journal of Cardiac Nursing, 7 (10), pp. 493-499.


Background: Reducing patient delay is key to reducing mortality in acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Interventions to date have had little success.

Aim: To explore whether illness representations (Leventhal's Commonsense Model of Self-Regulation (CS-SRM)) are associated with patient delay (appraisal or illness delay) in those with symptoms of ACS.

Design: A CS-SRM questionnaire study.

Methods: A random sample of 182 patients who contacted NHS 24 with symptoms of ACS completed the Revised Illness Perception Questionnaire and gave access to data from their NHS 24 records.

Results: Median appraisal delay was 2 hours. Median illness delay was 75 minutes. Women were more likely than men to have long appraisal delays (greater than 2 hours) (57% vs 43%, c2(df=1)=3.93, P=0.047) but did not differ regarding illness delay. Gender and illness representations (identity, emotion and consequences) predicted appraisal delay category (c2=19.907, df=4, P=0.001).

Conclusions: Appraisal and illness delays may be associated with different factors. Interventions addressing illness representations might reduce appraisal delay, especially in women.

Subject headings
Health attitudes;Medicine and psychology;Sick Psychology

AuthorsFarquharson Barbara, Johnston Marie, Bugge Carol
Publication date10/2012
Publication date online27/09/2013
Date accepted by journal24/09/2012
PublisherMark Allen Healthcare
ISSN 1749-6403

British Journal of Cardiac Nursing: Volume 7, Issue 10 (OCT 2012)

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