Background: Gender differences in the clinical presentation, treatment and outcomes of myocardial infarction (MI) have been demonstrated. However, few studies have examined gender differences in patients' perceptions of involvement in MI care, and whether differing levels of involvement might be associated with gender differences in treatment and outcome. Aim: To examine possible gender differences in MI patients' perceptions of their involvement during hospitalization. Methods: Questionnaire study conducted in 2005-2006 among MI patients under the age of 75 at eleven hospitals. Patient ratings of their involvement during hospitalization were analyzed for age-stratified gender differences. Results: Younger (< 70 years of age) female MI patients placed significantly more value on shared decision-making than younger (< 70) men. More than one third of patients would have liked to be more involved in their care during hospitalization and discharge planning, with women significantly more dissatisfied than men. Significantly fewer younger female patients discussed secondary preventive lifestyle changes with cardiology staff prior to hospital discharge. Conclusion: Significant age-specific gender differences exist in MI patient ratings of, and satisfaction with, involvement during hospitalization. Further study is needed regarding the possible role of involvement in the recognized gender differences in the treatment and outcomes of MI. © 2008 European Society of Cardiology.
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