Patient experiences with a phone-based cardiovascular risk reduction intervention: Are there differences between women and men?



To explore gender-based differences in experiences with a telehealth-delivered intervention for reduction of cardiovascular risk.


We conducted 23 semi-structured qualitative interviews by telephone with 11 women and 12 men who received a 12-month, pharmacist-delivered, telephone-based medication and behavioral management intervention. We used content analysis to identify themes.


We identified three common themes for both men and women: ease and convenience of phone support, preference for proactive outreach, and need for trust building in the context of telehealth. While both genders appreciated the social support from the intervention pharmacist, women voiced appreciation for accountability whereas men generally spoke about encouragement.


Rapport building may differ between telehealth and in-person healthcare visits; our work highlights how men and women's experiences can differ with telehealth care and which can inform the development of future, purposeful rapport building activities to strengthen the clinician-patient interaction.

Practice implications

Clinicians should seek opportunities to provide frequent and routine support for patients with chronic disease. Telehealth interventions may benefit from gender-specific tailoring of social support.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Goldstein, KM, LL Zullig, SM Andrews, N Sperber, AA Lewinski, CI Voils, EZ Oddone, HB Bosworth, et al. (2021). Patient experiences with a phone-based cardiovascular risk reduction intervention: Are there differences between women and men?. Patient education and counseling, 104(11). pp. 2834–2838. 10.1016/j.pec.2021.03.027 Retrieved from

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



Karen M. Goldstein

Associate Professor of Medicine

Dr. Goldstein's research interests include women's health, cardiovascular risk reduction, evidence synthesis methodology and peer support.


Leah L Zullig

Professor in Population Health Sciences

Leah L. Zullig, PhD, MPH is a health services researcher and an implementation scientist. She is a Professor in the Duke Department of Population Health Sciences and an investigator with the Center of Innovation to Accelerate Discovery and Practice Transformation (ADAPT) at the Durham Veterans Affairs Health Care System. Dr. Zullig’s overarching research interests address three domains: improving cancer care delivery and quality; promoting cancer survivorship and chronic disease management; and improving medication adherence. Throughout these three area of foci Dr. Zullig uses an implementation science lens with the goal of providing equitable care for all by implementing evidence-based practices in a variety of health care environments. She has authored over 150 peer-reviewed publications. 

Dr. Zullig completed her BS in Health Promotion, her MPH in Public Health Administration, and her PhD in Health Policy.

Areas of expertise: Implementation Science, Health Measurement, Health Policy, Health Behavior, Telehealth, and Health Services Research

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