“Peer Support for Women With Heart Disease: Women@Heart”
Women with heart disease are more likely to die or suffer another cardiac event or stroke within 5 years of an index event compared to men. They are also more likely to suffer depression and report lower quality of life. Cardiac Rehabilitation programs have been designed to address these issues, but most women do not attend. Women indicate they have a greater need to talk about their experiences with heart disease and seek social support to help them cope. Peer support, the assistance provided by other women with a similar illness experience, may be one way to enhance social support for women with heart disease and help them improve their psychosocial well-being. The Investigators have developed a peer support program called Women@Heart (W@H). The program is led by trained peer leaders (women who themselves have made a successful recovery from a heart event). A pilot test of the program showed promising results. The Investigators now need to conduct a more rigorous evaluation of the program. The main objective of this project is to determine if the W@H program helps women to improve their psychosocial well-being compared to being on a waiting list to participate in the program. It will also examine the effect of the program on: health behaviours (tobacco smoking, physical activity, sedentary behaviour, fruit and vegetable consumption, and medication adherence); coronary risk factors; and clinical outcomes (re-hospitalization, health care system use, death).
Behavioral - Women@Heart Program
The Women@Heart program is taught by trained peer leaders. Session content is focused on: emotional support (sharing your story, road to recovery, exploration of feelings, coping with changes, emotional management, coping with distress, effective communication, empowerment); informational support (self care behaviours, risk factor education and management, health care system and community resource navigation); and appraisal support (goal setting, action planning, problem solving, relapse prevent ...read more on ClinicalTrials.org
Cluster Randomization Trial of Peer Support for Women With Heart Disease: Women@ Heart