Gender differences in recovery outcomes after an early recovery symptom management intervention

Lani Zimmerman, Susan Barnason, Melody Hertzog, Lufei Young, Janet Nieveen, Paula Schulz, Chunhao Tu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background: Despite known gender differences in recovery, few studies have examined symptom management (SM) interventions or responses by gender after coronary artery bypass surgery (CABS). Objective: The purpose of this subanalysis was to describe and evaluate differences in response by gender to an SM intervention on the presence and burden of symptoms, physical activity, and physical functioning in elderly CABS patients during the early discharge period (3 and 6 weeks after CABS, and 3 and 6 months after CABS). Methods: The parent study whose data were analyzed to examine gender differences involved a two-group, randomized clinical trial design. The 6-week early recovery SM telehealth intervention was delivered by the Health Buddy. Measures included the Cardiac Symptom Survey, a Modified 7-Day Activity Interview, an RT3 accelerometer, an Activity Diary, and the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36. This study was not powered for a gender × group analysis, and we used descriptive statistics, χ 2 tests, t tests, and analysis of variance for statistical analyses. Results: Subjects (n = 232) included 192 men and 40 women, with a mean age of 71.2 SD, 7 years. The intervention group consisted of 86 men and 23 women, and the usual care (UC) group consisted of 106 men and 17 women. Data trends suggest that the SM intervention exerted greater impact on women than on men for symptoms such as fatigue, depression, sleep problems, and pain. Again, men exhibited higher levels of physical activity than did women. However, women in the SM group generally had higher scores than did women in the UC group. Conclusion: Although the parent study found no effect of an early recovery SM intervention, this exploratory secondary analysis indicated that women in the intervention group demonstrated more improvement in measures of physical activity than did those in the UC group. Further study, using a larger sample, is necessary to test these preliminary results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-439
Number of pages11
JournalHeart and Lung: Journal of Acute and Critical Care
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Gender Differences
  • Physical Acclivity
  • Physical Functioning
  • Symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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