University of Twente Student Theses


‘Voluit leven met een hartaandoening’ Onderzoek naar een zelfhulpinterventie voor hartpatiënten

Visscher, Wendy (2011) ‘Voluit leven met een hartaandoening’ Onderzoek naar een zelfhulpinterventie voor hartpatiënten.

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Abstract:Background: In the Netherlands there is a high prevalence in heart disease. It’s even the first cause of death among women and the second among men. Many heart patients struggle both with physical and psychological complaints in their lives, making it difficult for them to live their life as they want to. Anxiety and depression are the most common psychological complaints. Usually patients only receive help when complaints pose a major problem. Possibly a self help book can be preventive by teaching patients with mild to moderate psychological problems how to live a dignified life. Currently there is such a help book for patients with chronic pain, ‘Leven met pijn’ (‘Living with pain’), in which patients with chronic pain learn to lead a dignified life despite their physical and psychological complaints. The purpose of this study was to consider the extent to which the book ‘Leven met pijn’ is useful for heart patients and next to create a self help book for heart patients. The main question in this study is: “To what extent is the book ‘Leven met pijn’ an appropriate intervention for people with a heart disease?” Methods: Nine heart patients with various heart diseases have participated in the survey. They had at least three weeks to read en assess the book. Then there was a semi-structured in-depth interview where the patients experiences with the book were discussed. This was done using the pluses and minuses that have been written in the book by the patients and an assessment form which was completed after the reading of each chapter. Prior to and after the study participants had completed a questionnaire that was used to assess the impact from the book on anxiety, depression and experiential avoidance of the heart patients. Results: In general the respondents were positive about the book. About half of the respondents will choose for just the book in case of complaints. The other half will choose the book in combination with a therapist. With regard to the exercises respondents are especially positive about mindfulness exercises and exercises that make patients to undertake action and make them look at themselves. Metaphors with regard to avoidance and self evaluation were assessed positive. In the end heart patients benefit from the ACT processes, a preliminary chapter with background information about heart problems, a section about communication and a final chapter that discusses relapse. Conclusions: Texts and exercises from ‘Leven met pijn’, are useful for heart patients. However, at certain points the intervention should be more concentrated on heart patients, such as: ‘anxiety’ instead of ‘pain’ and possibly a section about ‘death anxiety’. Heart overload should be taken into account to include building physical activity. There should also be added a section about ‘knowing your limits’. In the end illustrations have to be adjusted to heart patients because the existing can be too scary and depressing for heart patients.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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