A secondary meta-synthesis of qualitative studies of gender and access to cardiac rehabilitation

Jan E. Angus, Kathryn M. King-Shier, Melisa A. Spaling, Amanda S. Duncan, Susan B. Jaglal, James A. Stone, Alexander M. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: To discuss issues in the theorization and study of gender observed during a qualitative meta-synthesis of influences on uptake of secondary prevention and cardiac rehabilitation services. Background: Women and men can equally benefit from secondary prevention/cardiac rehabilitation and there is a need to understand gender barriers to uptake. Design: Meta-method analysis secondary to meta-synthesis. For the meta-synthesis, a systematic search was performed to identify and retrieve studies published as full papers during or after 1995 and contained: a qualitative research component wholly or in a mixed method design, extractable population specific data or themes for referral to secondary prevention programmes and adults ≥18 years. Data sources: Databases searched between January 1995-31 October 2011 included: CSA Sociological Abstracts, EBSCOhost CINAHL, EBSCOhost Gender Studies, EBSCOhost Health Source Nursing: Academic Edition, EBSCOhost SPORTDiscus, EBSCOhost SocINDEX. Review methods: Studies were reviewed against inclusion/exclusion criteria. Included studies were subject to quality appraisal and standardized data extraction. Results: Of 2264 screened articles, 69 were included in the meta-method analysis. Only four studies defined gender or used gender theories. Findings were mostly presented as inherently the characteristic of gendered worldviews of participants. The major themes suggest a mismatch between secondary prevention/cardiac rehabilitation services and consumers' needs, which are usually portrayed as differing according to gender but may also be subject to intersecting influences such as age or socioeconomic status. Conclusion: There is a persistent lack of theoretically informed gender analysis in qualitative literature in this field. Theory-driven gender analysis will improve the conceptual clarity of the evidence base for gender-sensitive cardiac rehabilitation programme development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1758-1773
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug. 2015


  • Access
  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Cardio thoracic nursing
  • Gender
  • Qualitative meta-synthesis
  • Secondary prevention


Dive into the research topics of 'A secondary meta-synthesis of qualitative studies of gender and access to cardiac rehabilitation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this