Fears and beliefs of patients regarding cardiac catheterization
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The fears and beliefs patients hold about invasive medical interventions may affect their perceptions about risk and subsequent decisions to undergo those procedures. Little is known about fears and beliefs in patients undergoing invasive cardiac procedures and their relationship to perceptions of risks. Using a grounded theory approach, 10 men and 10 women referred for their first cardiac catheterization (CATH) from referral centers in Ontario, Canada were interviewed to identify fears and beliefs related to the procedure. Overall, women expressed more fears than men. Fears for both groups arose from: (1) lack of control about (i) physical aspects and (ii) psychosocial aspects of the CATH; (2) an unknown future; and (3) possible medical complications. Beliefs related to health personnel involved in the CATH, the technology used during the CATH and personal coping mechanisms. Men were more inclined to believe in technology, which overrode concerns about the procedure. Participants viewed CATH as a routine and necessary step in determining their future. Patients imputed previously held fears and beliefs and formulated new ones regarding the CATH during the process of anticipating the procedure. They viewed themselves as passive participants and not as actively consenting to the CATH. This paper offers previously undocumented insights from patients regarding CATH and provides the basis for developing future investigations.
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