Gender Differences in Patients' Beliefs About Biological, Environmental, Behavioral, and Psychological Risk Factors in a Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

Document Type: Original Article


1 Master of Clinical Psychology, Cardiac Rehabilitation Center, Imam Ali Hospital, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences. Kermanshah, Iran

2 Sports Medicine and Lifestyle Intervention, Imam Reza Hospital, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences ,Kermanshah.Iran

3 Researcher of Social Development and Health Promotion Research Center, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran

4 Psychiatrist, Kermanshah university of Medical Sciences,Kermanshah,Iran


Introduction: There are significant gender differences in the epidemiology and presentation of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), physiological aspects of CVDs, response to diagnostic tests or interventions, and prevalence or incidence of the associated risk factors. Considering the independent influence of gender on early dire consequences of such diseases, this study was conducted to investigate gender differences in patients' beliefs about biological, environmental, behavioral, and psychological risk factors in a cardiac rehabilitation program.
Materials and Methods: This study has cross sectional design. The sample was composed of 775 patients referred to cardiac rehabilitation unit in Imam Ali Hospital in Kermanshah, Iran. The data were collected using clinical interview and patients’ medical records. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics such as mean, standard deviation, and chi-square test​​. To do the statistical analysis, SPSS version 20 was utilized.
Results: As the results indicated, there was a significant difference between the beliefs of men and women about risk factors of heart disease (X2= 48.36; P<0.01). Men considered behavioral (55.1%) and psychological (33.7%) risk factors as the main causes of their disease, respectively. On the other hand, women regarded psychological (38.2%) and behavioral factors (26.6%) as the most common causes of cardiac conditions, respectively. Both men and women considered stress as the most important heart disease risk factor (21% and 22.3%, respectively). Also, women were less aware of the risk factors, compared to men.
Conclusion: From the patients’ perspective, psychological and behavioral risk factors were the most important causes of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs); moreover, stress was the most influential risk factor for developing cardiac diseases. Thus, learning to control and manage these risk factors can help to  prevent the development of CVDs and reduce the occurrence of subsequent cardiac events.


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