Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Heart disease, including coronary artery disease, affects approximately 42 million women in the United States. Many of those affected are not aware they have the condition. Contributing to the problem is the fact that women are more likely than men to be misdiagnosed and undertreated for heart disease. Morbidity and mortality are high in women affected by heart disease, making the problem important to address. The purpose of this project was to understand the coronary artery or heart disease risk and the treatment for the condition provided for 31 participants at a cardiology service in the Northeast U.S. The project question focused on understanding how coronary artery disease manifest in women and the gender differences in treatment for men and women. A descriptive case design was used by gathering data from patient risk profiles and treatments. Participants were males and females aged between 30 and 80. Qualitative data were obtained through cardiology staff interviews and existing literature. The data were subjected to a content analysis to identify emergent themes. Findings indicated that the women experienced different cardiac symptoms to men, and these differences translated to misdiagnosis and resulting treatment ineffectiveness. This project contributes to social change through raising awareness of the gender differences in heart disease presentation so that providers can recognize and treat the condition effectively.