Dealing with a life changing event: The influence of spirituality and coping style on quality of life after survival of a cardiac arrest or myocardial infarction

E M Wachelder*, V.R.M.P. Moulaert, C van Heugten, Antonius Gorgels, D T Wade, J A Verbunt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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BACKGROUND: Survivors of a cardiac arrest often have cognitive and emotional problems. As a cardiac arrest is also an obvious life-threatening event, other psychological sequelae associated with surviving such as spirituality may also affect quality of life.

OBJECTIVES: To determine the relationship between spirituality, coping and quality of life in cardiac patients both with and without a cardiac arrest.

METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study, participants received a questionnaire by post. The primary outcome measure was quality of life (LiSat-9). Secondary outcome measures were spiritual well-being (FACIT-Sp12), coping style (UPCC), emotional well-being (HADS, IES), fatigue (FSS) and daily activities (FAI). Statistical analyses included multiple regression analyses.

RESULTS: Data were available from 72 (60% response rate) cardiac arrest survivors and 98 (47%) patients with a myocardial infarction. Against our hypothesis, there were no differences in spirituality or other variables between the groups, with the exception of more depressive symptoms in patients with myocardial infarction without arrest. Analysis of the total data set (170 participants) found that a better quality of life was associated with higher levels of meaning and peace in life, higher levels of social and leisure activities, and lower levels of fatigue.

CONCLUSIONS: Quality of life after a cardiac arrest and after a myocardial infarction without arrest are not different; fatigue, a sense of meaning and peace, and level of extended daily activities are factors related to higher life satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-86
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


  • Heart arrest
  • Quality of life
  • Spirituality

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