Monica Parry Headshot 2014

Dr. Monica Parry receives CIHR grant for integrated smartphone and web-based intervention for women with cardiac pain

2 February 2018

Dr. Monica Parry has been awarded a project grant from the Canadian Institute of Health Research for her study “Development and usability testing of HEARTPAN: An integrated smartphone and web-based intervention for women with cardiac pain.” This 3-year grant supports Dr. Parry’s research to develop and evaluate an integrated smartphone and web-based intervention (HEARTPAIN) that will help women self-manage cardiac pain.

Cardiac pain disproportionately burdens more women than men.  More women die of heart disease than breast cancer, lung disease, Alzheimer disease, and accidents combined. This may be because women do not recognize when they have heart disease – they have symptoms that are less obviously related to their heart, such as being tired and short of breath. Because women do not recognize their heart symptoms and they prefer to take care of their families, they delay seeking medical treatment. When women do have treatment, such as a stent or heart surgery, they have more long-term pain than men. This long-term pain causes depression, poor function, and reduced health-related quality of life.

Working with pain and heart experts as well as women who have heart pain, Dr. Parry, and her research team are developing and systematically evaluating an integrated smartphone and web-based intervention called HEARTPAIN to help women recognize and self-manage cardiac pain. The development of this tool is taking place in 4 phases, including:

Phase 1 (complete): Research findings conclude that tools to manage heart pain in women need to be specifically designed for women only, and it is important to include goal setting as well as support from doctors and nurses.

Phases 2: Ensure HEARTPAIN is efficient & user-friendly. Dr. Parry and team will meet with women who have heart pain to build and test the HEARTPAIN app and website in a lab.

Phase 3: HEARTPAIN will be tested in real life using a small, randomized controlled trial to refine the prototype and make improvements before a larger study is undertaken.

Phase 4: In the future, Dr. Parry and team will test HEARTPAIN in a large randomized controlled trial. This study will enroll a large number of women across Canada to see if HEARTPAIN reduces pain and depression, and improves function and health-related quality of life for women.

The awarded CIHR grant will support phases 2 & 3 of Dr. Parry’s research.

Dr. Monica Parry is an Associate Professor and the Coordinator of the Nurse Practitioner Field of Study at Bloomberg Nursing.  Her program of research includes supportive care measures to improve the health outcomes for individuals with chronic disease. Visit Dr. Parry’s profile to learn more.

Hear one woman’s story:

This video was made possible through a Women’s Heart Health Award for Knowledge Translation Exchange (KTE), funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSFC) and the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health (ICHR) and the Institute of Gender and Health (IGH).