Educating Rural Women about Gender Specific Heart Attack and Prodromal Symptoms


  • Melanie B. Kalman Upstate Medical University
  • Margaret Wells Lemoyne College
  • Pamela Stewart Fahs Decker School of Nursing; Binghamton University



Problem:  Heart Disease (HD) remains the leading cause of mortality among women. Improvement of outcomes for morbidity and mortality in females with HD has not occurred at the same rate as in males. Rural populations often have more barriers to seeking timely intervention than their urban counterparts.

Purpose: To test the efficacy of using acronyms to educate rural women on female MI and prodromal symptoms as well as the appropriate response to these symptoms and to assess if knowledge gained was sustained for a 2-month period of time.

Method:  A quasi-experimental design with two groups with site randomization of educational intervention with N = 137 rural women (RUCC codes of 5 or higher).  Factor analysis, validity and reliability testing for the 23 item Matters of Your Heart Scale (v. 2) are discussed.

Findings:  Comparing the two educational formats of acronym vs. no acronym showed no statistically significant difference on the Knowledge score t = .26, df = 134, p = .80 by group.  Similar non-significant findings occurred for the major subscales.  Some demographic groups did achieve significantly higher scores on the MOYH v. 2.  A multiple regression indicated that the final model explained 90% of the variance in the dependent variable of Knowledge of female MI symptoms including the appropriate response to those symptoms (R2 = .90, adjR2, se = 1.65). 

Conclusions:  Educating rural women to recognize gender specific heart attacks symptoms, possible warning symptoms, and the need to respond appropriately is an area where rural nurses can make a difference whether or not an acronym educational approach is used.

Keywords: female, heart disease, MI, acronym, heart attack, rural 


Author Biographies

Melanie B. Kalman, Upstate Medical University

Professor, Upstate Medical University, College of Nursing

Margaret Wells, Lemoyne College


Pamela Stewart Fahs, Decker School of Nursing; Binghamton University

RN, PhD,
Associate Dean PhD Program Director Professor & Dr. G. Clifford and Florence B. Decker Chair in Rural Nursing