Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (Medical Science)
Dr. Elizabeth Rideout
This study examined how rurality influenced the lives of twelve women who survived a myocardial infarction (MI). Using a critical ethnographic approach, in-depth interviews with women from southwestern Ontario were analyzed to uncover the ways in which social, political, and cultural forces associated with rurality, influenced women's choices, challenges and experiences post-MI. Women were encourages to filter their post-MI experiences through their "rural lens", to explicate their rural lives, and to reflect on the forces that shaped post-MI events and perceptions. Participant observation and interviews with nurses and physicians who provided post-MI care to rural women were also utilized to explore overt and covert influences in women's recovery. Data analysis revealed four narrative themes. Reticence was evident in the tendences of women to minimize articulation of their worries and to accept the course of their post-MI lives with few questions. Referral Games characterized the crucial role rural physicians played in strategizing to help women access specialty diagnostic and treatment in urban referral centers that were unavailable in rural communities. Resourcefulness was displayed by women in response to meeting their own needs for managing their recovery, so they did not have to depend on others, or if system resources were unavailable. Women placed great value on the support and advocacy they perceived in Relationships with rural health professionals and institutions, and viewed themselves as lucky to live in communities were such connections could be made. The strength of the rurality influence(s) on the narrative themes could not be concluded. Women perceived themselves as different from urban women however, some findings supported existing post-MI literature based on urban populations and previously identified rural health issues. Findings support the inclusion of rural people in policy and resource planning and supporting best practices of rural health professionals on whom women rely.
Caldwell, Patricia Helen, "Lives of Rural Women After Myocardial Infarction: A Critical Ethnography" (2003). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 1361.