Date of Award

Fall 1991

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Frenn, Marilyn

Second Advisor

Wallskog, Joyce

Third Advisor

Klein, Rosalie


Diagnostic tests, such as cardiac catheterization, are perceived as threatening events due to the prevalence of heart disease. Anxiety often is an initial response to a perceived threat. Nurses recognize and treat anxiety through nursing diagnoses; the cardiac catheterization is perceived as a threat and the resulting anxiety is reflected in a nursing diagnosis. The purpose of this study was to validate the defining characteristics of anxiety in patients undergoing cardiac catheterization. Thirty subjects, both male and female, were interviewed using open ended questions and asked to complete Spielberger's State-Trait Anxiety inventory and the list of defining characteristics for the nursing diagnosis of anxiety the day prior to the procedure and on return to their room following the procedure. These data show a positive correlation between State Anxiety and the defining characteristics and a positive correlation between the indicators both the patient and nurse chose to describe anxiety. The patient centered approach of this study also provided data to describe the anxiety experienced by the patients.



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