Qualitative descriptive study of Mexican Americans health-seeking experience during myocardial infarction
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Premature death due to cardiovascular disease, including myocardial infarction, is higher in Hispanics (23.5%) than non-Hispanic White (16.5%) adults. Delaying treatment over 60 minutes increases the risk of sudden death by 50%. The purpose of this study was to describe the perceived benefits and barriers to seeking cardiac emergency care including emergency medical services (EMS) activation during an acute myocardial infarction (MI) in Mexican American adults. A qualitative descriptive design was used wherein semi-structured interviews and sociodemographic questionnaire were conducted with 12 Mexican Americans who had experienced an MI in the last two years. Qualitative conventional content analysis was used to uncover unique perceptions of Mexican Americans seeking emergency care. The overall theme that arose was degree of perceived threat leads to action. This theme was comprised five categories: perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, perceived barriers, perceived benefits, and learned behavior. Perceived severity was closely intertwined with perceived susceptibility. Recent appointments with HCPs facilitated low perceived susceptibility to an MI and acted as a barrier leading to ix decreased initiation of emergency services for MI. Participants attempted self-treatment and evaluation which was a barrier to immediate emergency care. Perceived benefits to initiation of emergency care were using EMS to achieve rapid treatment of MI symptoms. Though several participants initially stated they would activate EMS, further inquiry revealed calling EMS was considered a last resort if the participant were alone. The findings suggest education of lay people and HCPs needs to emphasize that MIs can present in a variety of ways from slow-onset to fast-onset. A goal for nursing practice is to include regular screening on cardiac risk factors along with interventions and evaluation among patients and family. Future research should aim at finding the most successful format to provide public education to Mexican Americans on MI symptom and rapid initiation of EMS.