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J Korean Acad Adult Nurs. 2002 Sep;14(3):459-469. Korean. Original Article.
Choe MA , Yi MS , An KE , Im EO .
Seoul National University, College of Nursing, Korea.
Ewha Womans University, College of nursing Science, Korea.
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA.

PURPOSE: Experience of chest pain may be different in women from that of men and this discrepancy may cause misdiagnosis of angina contribute to mortality by this disease in women. The purpose of this study was to analyze the characteristics of chest pain and responses to the symptoms in women. METHOD: A content analysis was conducted with interviewed data obtained from women who underwent the treadmill test RESULT: Seven major categories were identified from this content analysis: attributes of chest pain; accompanied symptoms; precipitating factors; relief strategies; family support; communication with physicians; and effects of chest pain on their lives. Characteristics of pain were described as heaviness, tightness, heating sensation, tearing, and others. Duration and intensity of pain varied in a wide range. Radiating pain presented in 9 patients, and the locations of radiation were throat, neck, shoulder arm and fingers. Women tended not to respond actively to their chest pain, and didn't get appropriate support either from their family or from their physicians when they reported chest pain. CONCLUSION: Women express non-typical as well as typical patterns of pain when they experience chest pain. Clinicians have to consider the variability of symptoms when they assess women with suspicions of angina.

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