Heart disease has been identified as the leading cause of death in women in the United States, affecting an estimated 21,000 women under the age of 65. While these figures are alarming, population survey data have shown women do not perceive heart disease as a priority health problem- The purpose of this descriptive study was to investigate women's perception of heart disease as a health risk. The Health Belief Model served as the theoretical framework for this study. Two research questions guided this study: Is there a significant correlation between selected demographic variables and perception of heart disease as a health risk? and is there a significant correlation between identified risk factors and perception of heart disease as a health risk? A demographic data form, the Arizona Heart Test for Women, and the question. Compared with women your own age, how would you rate your chance of having a heart attack? were the tools used to answer the research questions. Data were collected from 113 working women at least 18 years of age in a city in East Central Mississippi. Based on the results of this study, the researcher concluded that there is no correlation between selected demographic variables and perception of heart disease as a health risk among women. iv However, significant correlations between identified risk factors and perception of heart disease as a health risk were identified. Further, the researcher concluded that women are aware of risk factors for the development of heart disease but do not perceive personal susceptibility. These findings signify the need for screening and education of all women for risk factors and the development of heart disease. Further research is recommended to determine if similar findings will occur with women from other sociodemographic populations.
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Dr. Mary Patricia Curtis
McKay, Kathy, "Women's Perception of Heart Disease as a Health Risk Associated with Identified Risk Factors" (1995). MSN Research Projects. 110.