Variability of delay time in seeking medical care for chest pain: a global review

Kannikar Wechkunanukul, Hugh Grantham, Robyn Clark

    Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


    Background: Previous research has demonstrated that delay in seeking medical care for chest pain may have major effects on patient's survival. This review aimed to compare the delay time in seeking care for chest pain within ethnic groups around the globe.

    Methods: A comprehensive literature review was performed using the Medline, CINALH and Scopus databases, delay time data from research published between 1994 and 2014 was extracted.

    Results: The search yielded 395 articles and 205 full-text articles were assessed for eligibility. Twenty-three articles have been included. Delay times varied across countries ranging from 1.62 hours (Brazil) to 12.9 hours (Saudi Arabia) with mean and median of 3.40 and 3.04 hours respectively. Seven studies reported that decision time was the largest proportion of pre-hospital delay time ranging from 40.8% in Iran to 82.8% in Australia. Six publications reported patients arrived at hospital within 1 hour, ranging from 11.9% in Lebanon to 28% in Jordan. Utilisation of ambulance ranged from 3.1%, Brazil to 61%, Australia. Only three studies included sub-analysis by ethnicity and reported ethnicity was a significant predictor of delayed presentation, and non-Caucasians had a longer delay time than Caucasians.

    Conclusion: Variability in delay time occurred regardless of geographic region and health care system. The time taken to seek care for chest pain has not improved for 20 years. The differences in culture and attitudes in each country could influence on seeking care behaviour. Further research is recommended to review the impact of CALD background on patient's outcomes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number144
    Pages (from-to)S173-S173
    Number of pages1
    JournalHeart, Lung and Circulation
    Issue numberSupplement 3
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015
    EventCardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ) Annual Scientific Meeting and the International Society for Heart Research Annual Scientific Meeting - Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Australia
    Duration: 13 Aug 201516 Aug 2015


    • chest pain
    • Culturally and linguistically diverse
    • patients


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