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coronary artery disease, inner strength, middle range theory, quality of life, women's health



  1. Mendes, Beverly PhD, RN, APRN-BC
  2. Roux, Gayle PhD, RN, NP-C
  3. Ridosh, Monique MSN, RN


The purpose of this study was to explore factors associated with inner strength in women following coronary stent placement. A grounded theory design using the "middle range theory of inner strength in women" guided the study. The research question was "How do women experience inner strength during their recovery from coronary stent placement following an acute coronary event?" A sample of 12 women with history of post-myocardial infarction cardiac stent placement completed semistructured interviews. Categories of data emerged to include "changing patterns of fear" and stages of "living a new normal." Data analysis resulted in themes consistent with previous research of inner strength in women. The results provide a theory-based foundation for critical care practice interventions to promote the health of women experiencing a life-threatening infarction and a stent placement. Nursing interventions extending into rehabilitation can enhance the quality of life in women living with coronary artery disease as a chronic condition.