Aim: To explore the meaning of recovery from the perspective of patients who have had a myocardial infarction (MI) and their carers.<p></p>Method: Constructivist grounded theory was used, incorporating individual and group interviews. Twenty-four cardiac support group members (15 patients and nine carers) participated in a group interview. Ten patients were individually interviewed six to nine months after MI.<p></p>Findings: Following an MI, participants felt different from how they were as a person' before the MI. Recovery was therefore an ongoing process that involved learning to live with that difference. 'Watchful insecurity' emerged as a core category in explaining recovery from the participants' perspective. Recovery was depicted as a series of 'peaks and troughs'.<p></p>Conclusion: The individual nature of each person's recovery pathway can be used to develop acceptable and accessible services to support recovery following MI
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