Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (M.S.N.)

Degree Program

College of Nursing

First Advisor

Mary Horan

Second Advisor

Emily Droste-Bielak

Third Advisor

Roelof Bijkerk


Fifty-eight clients admitted to two critical and intermediate units with the diagnosis of myocardial infarction (MI) completed a Heart Disease Locus of Control (LOC) Scale and the Jalowiec Coping Scale. A descriptive correlational design was used to examine the relationship between persons' beliefs about control and the types of coping strategies used after the onset of an acute MI. It was hypothesized that clients with an internal LOC would use problem-oriented more extensively than affective-oriented coping behaviors and that clients with an external LOC would use affective-oriented more extensively than problem-oriented coping behaviors. Imogene King's conceptual framework for nursing provided the theoretical framework for this study.; It was found that persons, regardless of LOC, in the event of an acute MI, reported more extensive use of problem-oriented coping behaviors. The knowledge that MI clients reported a high usage of problem-oriented behaviors to cope with the event is of value to the nurse in planning and implementing individualized nursing care and teaching with MI patients.


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