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Nurs Res. 2003 Nov-Dec;52(6):386-92.

Effects of gender and preference for information and control on anxiety early after myocardial infarction.

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  • 1College of Nursing, The Ohio State University, Columbus 43210, USA.



Men and women differ in anxiety, which is one of the most stressful outcomes of an acute myocardial infarction (AMI). This anxiety may be moderated by coping styles of preference for information and control.


This study aimed to examine the relation of gender and preference for information and control to anxiety during the critical care period after AMI.


As part of a larger study on complications after AMI, a descriptive cross-sectional multicenter one-group investigation designed with a convenience sample of AMI patients admitted to acute care units was conducted. Within the first 48 hours after the patients were admitted to the hospital, anxiety was assessed using the State Anxiety Inventory, and preference for information and control was measured using the Krantz Health Opinion Survey.


The sample of AMI patients (N = 410) was 68% male, 87% White, 68% married. The women were significantly older than the men (p <.05) and significantly more anxious (p <.05). Multiple stepwise regression analysis with a control for age demonstrated that neither preference for information nor preference for control moderated the relation of gender and anxiety.


The women expressed greater anxiety than the men. However, the men and women were similar at all levels of anxiety in their preference for information and control. The search for other factors related to the stress of AMI will help healthcare providers design effective interventions to reduce anxiety among men and women.

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