Does gender bias in cardiac stress testing still exist? A videographic analysis nested in a randomized controlled trial

David M. Nestler, Waqas I. Gilani, Ryan T. Anderson, M. Fernanda Bellolio, Megan E. Branda, Annie LeBlanc, Sean Phelan, Ronna L. Campbell, Erik P. Hess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objectives Despite a high prevalence of coronary heart disease in both genders, studies show a gender disparity in evaluation whereby women are less likely than men to undergo timely or comprehensive cardiac investigation. Using videographic analysis, we sought to quantify gender differences in provider recommendations and patient evaluations. Methods We analyzed video recordings from our Chest Pain Choice trial, a single center patient-level randomized trial in which emergency department patients with chest pain being considered for cardiac stress testing were randomized to shared decision-making or usual care. Patient-provider interactions were video recorded. We compared characteristics and outcomes by gender. Results Of the 204 patients enrolled (101 decision aid; 103 usual care), 120 (58.8%) were female. Of the 75 providers evaluated, 20 (26.7%) were female. The mean (SD) pretest probability of acute coronary syndrome was lower in women [3.7% (2.2) vs 6.7% (4.4), P = .0002]. There was no gender effect on duration of discussion, clinician recommendations, OPTION scores, patient perceptions, or eventual patient dispositions. When the clinician and patient gender matched, OPTION scores were lower (interaction P = .002), and patients were less likely to find the information to be very helpful (interaction P = .10). Conclusions Despite a lower pretest probability of acute coronary syndrome in women, we did not observe any significant gender disparity in how patients were managed and evaluated. When the patients' and providers' gender matched, the provider involved them less in the decision making process, and the information provided was less helpful than when the genders did not match.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-35
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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