Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2010) 09, 517 - 522

Case report
Emotional and Cognitive Changes During and Post a Near Fatal Heart Attack and One-Year After: A Case Study
Andrew M. Lane1, , Richard Godfrey2
Author Information
1 University of Wolverhampton, UK
2 Brunel University, UK

Andrew M. Lane
✉ School of Sport, Performing Arts and Leisure, University of Wolverhampton, UK
Email: A.M.Lane2@wlv.ac.uk
Publish Date
Received: 20-03-2010
Accepted: 13-07-2010
Published (online): 01-09-2010
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ABSTRACT

This case study reports on changes in emotions before and during an unexpected heart rate in a young, apparently healthy male with a life-long history of exercise in the absence of family history of heart problems. He completed the Brunel Mood Scale (Terry et al. , 2003) to assess emotions before, during, and after the heart attack, and also describing his thoughts during these periods. Results indicate he experienced unpleasant emotions in the build up to the heart attack, feelings he attributed at the time to frustration to achieve fitness goals. He maintained an exercise regime prior to having a heart attack, a finding consistent with previous research suggesting that early diagnosis, although vital for survival, is not likely to be identified among seemingly healthy individuals. During the heart attack, he experienced a rapid emotional change characterised by a rapid increase in anger coupled with thoughts of needing to survive. The intensity of emotions and regulation strategies employed before and during the heart attack provide insight this experience, and we suggest future research should investigate emotional change during adverse conditions.

Key words: Mood, regulation, emotion, heart, diagnosis, self-awareness


           Key Points
  • The present case study details emotions experienced and attempts to regulate these emotions before, during and post a heart attack. Unpleasant emotions experienced before the heart were attributed to lack of progress toward fitness goals, a perception that is plausible as he was a regular exerciser.
  • Early identification of heart attack is critical as “Time is Muscle” (Whyte et al., ) and therefore even people perceived to be at low risk should consider the possibility of such an eventuality, and seek medical treatment early in the process.
 
 
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