Heart Disease; Women; Minority; Support Group; Social Support; Self-Efficacy; Activities of Daily Living; Knowledge; Hispanic/Latina; African American; Asian; Indigenous


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Cardiovascular Diseases | Public Health


Background. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) affects minority women disproportionately. WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease sought to determine effective ways to support non-Caucasian women with CVD. We surveyed women of color living with CVD to understand their unique CVD-related support needs.

Methods. 514 non-white women (100 Hispanic, 180 African American, 104 Asian, 107 Indigenous, 23 multiracial) with CVD from 46 states responded to a 55-question survey (online/telephone, English/Spanish) 8/28/15 through 9/11/15.

Results. Among respondents not currently attending support groups, 80% were interested in attending support groups. Of WomenHeart services, respondents were most interested in online message boards. Among new services, respondents were most interested in a support group with a medical expert facilitator. Women with tachycardia wanted a support group with others with the same condition. Those with cardiomyopathy preferred to meet most frequently. Respondents most preferred a monthly support group with flexible membership. Community venues were the most popular location for support groups. Indigenous populations had the lowest CVD knowledge and self-efficacy levels, were most likely to prefer a support group with women of their own race, and wished to meet with their groups most frequently. Multiracial women were most likely to have never been told about clinical trials and were least interested in support groups. Hispanics had the least social support.

Conclusions. Minority women with CVD indicated interest in support groups. They may benefit from referrals to tailored support group types, including online platforms facilitated by medical experts, and to cardiac rehabilitation and clinical trials.