Background: Cardiovascular diseases are the world’s leading cause of mortality. These diseases are rooted in an unhealthy lifestyle. In order to confront this subject, it is essential to identify several risk factors that contribute to heart disease (HD) in people with different attitudes, values, beliefs, expectations and motivations. This study was therefore an attempt to explain the adaptive experiences of children whose parents were involved in myocardial infarction since they were more likely subjected to get the so-called disease. 

Objective: To identify the risk factors and to clear ambiguity using a qualitative research method from the experiences of people at risk of the above mentioned disease.

Methods: This qualitative study was a directed content analysis. Eighteen children (above 18 years old) of parents with a history of myocardial infarction participated, and were chosen with purposive sampling and the highest diversity. Data were collected through deep and semi structure interviews based on Protection Motivation Theory (PMT) from March to November 2015, and were analyzed along with their data collection and with usage of Lundman and Graneheim method. Interviews were conducted in non-stressful conditions with a place and time agreement.

Results: During content analysis process, 220 codes were extracted. After reviewing several times and summarizing, the codes were categorized based on similarity and proportion, and finally 12 subcategories and three categories were elicited including efforts to perform self-care in order to prevent HD, poor life style as a factor not to do preventive HD and health continuation with positive changes in life style. 

Conclusions: Most participants, despite intending to do self-care behaviors to prevent HD, due to factors such as time constraint, high costs, laziness, impatience and prioritizing other life affairs, did not pay attention to their health. Therefore, providing the training programs with an emphasis on life skills can play an important role in reducing perceived response cost and promoting health.


Keywords: Directed content analysis, Adaptive experience, Heart disease
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