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Causes of delay in seeking treatment for heart attack symptoms

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Author Info

  • Dracup, Kathleen
  • Moser, Debra K.
  • Eisenberg, Mickey
  • Meischke, Hendrika
  • Alonzo, Angelo A.
  • Braslow, Allan
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    Abstract

    With the advent of thrombolytic therapy and other coronary reperfusion strategies, rapid identification and treatment of acute myocardial infarction greatly reduces mortality. Unfortunately, many patients delay seeking medical care and miss the benefits afforded by recent advances in treatment. Studies have shown that the median time from onset of symptoms to seeking care ranges from 2 to 61/2 hours, while optimal benefit is derived during the first hour from symptom onset. The phenomenon of delay by AMI patients and those around them needs to be understood prior to the design of education and counseling strategies to reduce delay. In this article the literature is reviewed and variables that increase patient delay are identified. A theoretical model based on the health belief model, a self regulation model of illness cognition, and interactionist role theory is proposed to explain the response of an individual to the signs and symptoms of acute myocardial infarction. Finally, recommendations are made for future research.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 40 (1995)
    Issue (Month): 3 (February)
    Pages: 379-392

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:40:y:1995:i:3:p:379-392

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    Related research

    Keywords: delay acute myocardial infarction;

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    Cited by:
    1. Justin G. Trogdon, 2005. "Demand for and Regulation of Cardiac Services," HEW 0502001, EconWPA.
    2. Wyke, Sally & Adamson, Joy & Dixon, Diane & Hunt, Kate, 2013. "Consultation and illness behaviour in response to symptoms: A comparison of models from different disciplinary frameworks and suggestions for future research directions," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 79-87.
    3. Leviton, Laura C. & Finnegan, John R. & Zapka, Jane G. & Meischke, Hendrika & Estabrook, Barbara & Gilliland, Janice & Linares, Adriana & Weitzman, Elissa R. & Raczynski, James & Stone, Elaine, 1999. "Formative research methods to understand patient and provider responses to heart attack symptoms," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 385-397, November.
    4. Justin G. Trogdon, 2004. "Regionalization of Cardiac Services and the Responsiveness of Treatment Choices," School of Economics Working Papers 2004-03, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.

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