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Primary emotions in patients after myocardial infarction

Bowman, Gerald; Trotman-Beasty, Anita; Watson, Roger


Gerald Bowman

Anita Trotman-Beasty


Aims. This paper reports a study testing the reliability and validity of the Emotion and Health Scale and to check convergent and discriminant validity against the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Background. Reactions to illness are often measured in the narrow terms of anxiety and depression. Primary emotions are claimed by the functionalist school of psychology to be adaptive and to produce specific behaviours for survival. The functionalist theory requires testing in the context of health threat and adaptation. This paper is concerned with the development of a 24-item self-assessment scale of eight primary emotions. Methods. A healthy cohort of 150 university students was enrolled to complete the Health and Emotion Scale. A cohort of 80 first-time myocardial infarction patients was enrolled to complete the Emotion and Health Scale and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale four days after the onset of myocardial infarction or when symptoms were controlled. The data were collected in 2002. Results. The Emotion and Health Scale was shown to have acceptable internal consistency. Significant differences were observed between the healthy and myocardial infarction cohorts in illness attributed sadness, anger, disgust and surprise. Healthy men had significantly more health fear than women. Conclusions. The Emotion and Health Scale is a valid and reliable instrument that could be used to study emotion and illness. This line of enquiry may improve understanding of illness reactions and the role primary emotions exert on adaptation to health change. © 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Bowman, G., Trotman-Beasty, A., & Watson, R. (2006). Primary emotions in patients after myocardial infarction. Journal of advanced nursing, 53(6), 636-645.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 29, 2004
Online Publication Date Mar 8, 2006
Publication Date 2006-03
Print ISSN 0309-2402
Electronic ISSN 1365-2648
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 53
Issue 6
Pages 636-645
Keywords Emotion and Health Scale; instrumental validation; myocardial infarction; nurses; nursing; primary emotions
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