Warning Signs of Heart Disease

For those who are eligible, we are currently conducting a study to add symptom items contained in the Prodromal Symptoms – Screening Scale (PS-SS) through focus groups with individuals who have coronary artery disease (CAD) – heart disease- to better understand warning symptoms experienced by men and women.

What is it?

Prodromal Symptoms are those vague, short-lived, infrequent, troublesome symptoms that can occur before a severe heart attack of angina attack that are definite warning signs that a person has or is developing heart disease.  Some people have described unusual symptoms such as, night sweats, dizziness, shortness of breath, sleep disturbances, increasing fatigue, anxiety or headaches as example happening days, weeks, months before they ended up in the hospital with a heart attack or angina attack.

Who is eligible?

Adult men and women (all ages) will be recruited if they have heart disease and are able to read, speak and understand English.

What will you do?

You will be asked to do the following:         

  • Answer some questions about your employment status, income, marital status, previous health history, and medications that you are currently taking, questionnaires about your level of heart disease. This should take about 2-4 minutes, maximum.
  • Grant permission to access your medical files in order to collect information regarding your:
  1. a) Date of birth
  2. b) Age
  3. c) Medical diagnosis and related medical history
  4. d) The details of your treatments that diagnosed your heart disease (for example electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, stress treadmill test results).
  • Participate in a focus group interview of about 6 to 8 people with heart disease, that will be conducted using a semi-structured, open-ended interview guide and will be tape recorded. Broad introductory questions will be asked about your experiences of the warning signs of your heart disease. (1 to 1½ hours)
  • We will ask you to help us look at the existing tool and verify that the symptoms contained in the original tool that are still worth including, to make sure no PS are left out of the revised PS-SS.
  • Each focus group will be conducted in a meeting room at the Health and Wellness Centre at Brock University and the Niagara Health System – St. Catharines site.

 Why do it?

  • This study will help change the way in which heart attack related prodromal warning signs and symptoms are screened and assessed in the hospital
  • Assist nurses and doctors to screen people at high risk for development of heart disease, possible early diagnosis, individualize risk profile modification plans and allow timely cardiac treatment interventions.
  • Help decrease disability and death associated with heart disease.

If interested, please contact:
Dr. Sheila O’Keefe-McCarthy at (905) 688-5550 x 6192 or sokeefemccarthy@brocku.ca

Or Study Research Assistant Joseph Vigo at jv14xz@brocku.ca

This study has been reviewed and received ethics clearance through the REB (Add File #). For answers to pertinent questions about research participant’s right, please contact the Research Ethics Office at 905-688-5550 ext. 3035reb@brocku.ca