Objective: To investigate the degree of CHD awareness as well as symptom, risk factor, and treatment knowledge in a broad sample of cardiac inpatients, and to examine its sociodemographic, clinical and psychosocial correlates.
Methods: 1308 CHD inpatients (351 [27.0%] female), recruited from 11 acute care sites in Ontario, participated in this cross-sectional study. Participants were provided with a survey which included a knowledge questionnaire among other measures, and clinical data were extracted from medical charts.
Results: 855 (68.8%) respondents cited heart disease as the leading cause of death in men, versus only 458 (37.0%) in women. Participants with less than high school education (p<.001), an annual family income less than $50,000CAD (p=.022), low functional capacity (p=.042), who were currently smoking (p=.022), who had no family history of heart disease (p<.001), and who had a perception of low personal control (p=.033) had significantly lower CHD knowledge.
Conclusions: Awareness of CHD is not optimal, especially among women, South Asians, and those of low socioeconomic status. CHD patients have a moderate level of disease knowledge overall, but greater education is needed.
Practice implications: Tailored educational approaches may be necessary for those of low socioeconomic status, particularly with regard to the nature of CHD, tests and treatments.