• Older women;
  • myocardial infarction;
  • beta-blocker


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess demographic characteristics of women prescribed beta-blocker (β-blocker) medication and compare to those not using β-blocker medication, and to determine if there are differences in depression and fatigue among women who used β-blockers compared to nonusers 6–12 months after myocardial infarction (MI).

Data sources: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study of 84 women (61 using β-blockers and 23 not using β-blockers) aged 65 and older who were 6–12 months post-MI. Women had their height and weight measured and completed a Demographic Health Form, the Geriatric Depression Scale, and the Revised Piper Fatigue Scale (RPFS).

Conclusions: While most of the women were taking β-blockers after MI (74%), significantly fewer Black women were taking β-blockers (χ2= 5.086, p= 0.032). Most of the β-blocker users were overweight or obese. There were no significant differences in age, t(82) = 0.7, p= 0.486; body mass index, t(82) = 0.76, p= 0.445; income, χ2(df = 2) = 3.219, p= 0.075; mean depression, t(82) = 1.648, p= 0.103; or fatigue scores, t(82) = 0.993, p= 0.324, between β-blocker users and nonusers. More of those not taking β-blockers reported fatigue with significantly higher fatigue in the affective meaning dimension of the RPFS, t(82) = 2.272, p= 0.03.

Implications for practice: β-Blocker medication continues to be underutilized in older women. Because no difference was noted in fatigue and depression in the two groups, these may mean that these side effects are not barriers in prescribing this medication post-MI. Nurse practitioners are in pivotal positions to monitor the ongoing physiological and psychological sequelae post-MI and implement interventions to improve their outcomes.