MONDAY, June 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Patients’ perceived inability to act is associated with a delay in seeking medical care for acute myocardial infarction, according to a study published online May 27 in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing.

Carolin Nymark, Ph.D., from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues surveyed 326 patients with acute myocardial infarction to better understand patients’ appraisal prior to seeking medical care. The validated questionnaire, “Patients’ appraisal, emotions, and action tendencies preceding care seeking in acute myocardial infarction,” was used.

The researchers found that participants waited a median of three hours before seeking medical help. Two questionnaire subscales — “perceived inability to act” and “symptom appraisal” — had a major impact on patient delay. The main influence of the “perceived inability to act” subscale was on patients with a delay of more than 12 hours, while “symptom appraisal” had its main influence on patients with a delay of less than one hour.

“Future interventions aimed at decreasing delay should pay attention to appraisal processes, and perceived inability to act may be a sign of a health threat and therefore a signal to seek medical care,” the authors write.

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