Damjana Panić

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The study aimed to examine the effects of health conditions – previous history of cardiovascular disease (high blood pressure, hypertension, angina pectoris), heredity, risk factors for MI (smoking, obesity, hyperlipidemia, physical inactivity), and acute/chronic stress in the previous year, and socio-demographic variables (gender, age, education, relationship, and material status) on the formation and change in the mental representation of MI. In addition, the temporal stability of the internal structure of the illness representation dimensions in MI patients, and the effect the health and socio-demographic conditions may have on it, were also examined. The results point to significant effects of health and socio-demographic factors on the formation and change of myocardial infarction representation. A significant change in the internal structure of the illness representation was already found 1.5-2 months following the event. This change can only be partially explained by the examined health and socio-demographic conditions, given that after partialization of these effects, differences in the construct's internal structure at the two measurement time points remain significant. The results are discussed according to the theoretical background and previous research findings. Future research should explore the effects of some other variables that could further explain the temporal changes in the MI representation, but also the initial representation formation.


Perceptions of illness, illness representations, temporal stability, myocardial infarction, health conditions

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