The presence of unreported chest pain (CP) in patients hospitalized with an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) has received only anecdotal mention in the literature, with the exception of one small study. A purposeful sample of seven informants, using an exploratory design and qualitative methods, was used to examine the experience and reporting of CP. The data indicated existence of unreported CP and represented a process of decision-making in response to the symptoms associated with an AMI. The decision-making process involved three stages: the experience of pain, assessing the pain, and taking action. The reporting of pain (or failure to report pain) was found to be influenced by a broad range of internal and external cues that occurred throughout the decision-making process.
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