Men's Reluctance to Seek Care for Acute Coronary Syndromes
Schoenberger, Todd M.
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Cardiovascular disease accounts for nearly half of the deaths in developed countries. For many who die from cardiovascular disease, the onset is sudden, with rapid progression to a lethal dysrhythmia, only treatable by rapid access to defibrillation. For others, the signs and symptoms are unrecognized or ignored. Despite the resources dedicated to awareness and treatment of heart disease by large organizations, such as the American Heart Association, many who are experiencing the signs and symptoms of acute coronary syndromes (ACS) do not seek immediate treatment. This literature review will investigate the reasons why men, specifically, delay seeking treatment for ACS. Four themes emerged, which partially explain some of the challenges that men face when experiencing symptoms of ACS. These themes are non-health-seeking behavior, knowledge deficit/self-diagnosis, presence of external modifiers, and choice of action. This study will include these four themes in a modified version of the Health Belief Model in an effort to predict health seeking behavior of men. Finally, implications for practice and suggestions for further research, based on the results of the review, will be provided.