Are nurses aware of the gender and sex based differences affecting women in the diagnosis of acute coronary syndrome (ACS)?
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Background In Scotland, coronary heart disease (CHD) kills nearly twice as many women as breast cancer (British Heart Foundation (BHF), 2017) yet there is no media campaign in existence for female coronary care in the United Kingdom (UK) which matches the scale of the Wear It Pink (2019) campaign for breast cancer awareness. CHD often leads onto a condition known as acute coronary syndrome (ACS). ACS is a term which describes a spectrum of symptoms that indicate myocardial infarction (MI) or unstable angina (UA). Detection of ACS in women is complex and incorporates physiological and gender and societal based stigmas. Aims The aim of this study is to gain a deeper understanding into the experiences of nurses who care for female patients with a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of ACS, with a view to establishing areas where patient care and support for nurses can be improved, as well as increased awareness of the presentation of ACS in women. Methods 10 nurses who work in cardiology will be recruited for the purposes of this study. Participatory Action Research (PAR) is the chosen research design, therefore collaborative working between researcher and participants will be present. A focus group will be deployed in the first cycle of PAR in order to allow the participants to identify areas from the literature review that they deem important to their practice and to nursing care. Subsequent cycles of PAR will be informed based on the data collection and the findings in the first cycle. Positive change and participant empowerment are the main goals the researcher hopes to achieve through the use of PAR.