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Irrational health beliefs linked to skipping cardiac rehab sessions
Date:4/14/2014

tation program is critical, Emery said, because cardiac rehab already has strikes against it: Only about a third of eligible patients enter rehabilitation for a variety of reasons, including a low referral rate by cardiologists, insurance limitations and responsibilities at home and work. This is despite the fact that cardiac rehabilitation lowers the risk of a future heart problem by slowing the progression of disease, according to the American Heart Association.

"In terms of intervening, this study would point the finger at irrational health beliefs as one relevant target. Providing more education and evidence-based medical information to these patients may help enhance adherence," said Emery, also a professor of internal medicine and investigator in Ohio State's Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research.

The study had a relatively small sample size 61 participants but had typical demographics for a cardiac rehab program: A majority (70.5 percent) were men and the group's average age was almost 60. However, 23 percent of participants were African American, which is a relatively large proportion for studies in this area.

Almost all patients were prescribed a typical 36-session rehab program, with exercise three times per week for one hour plus an hour a week of education about nutrition, stress management and smoking cessation.

Before the first rehab session, participants completed questionnaires measuring depression and irrational health beliefs. The Irrational Health Belief Scale contains 20 vignettes describing a health-related experience in which a narrator makes distorted or illogical assumptions about health. Respondents are asked to rate each item on a scale of 1 ("not at all like I would think") to 5 ("almost exactly like I would think").

Overall, participants completed, on average, almost 75 percent of sessions approved by their insurance providers. A higher percentage of exercise session completion was ass
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Contact: Charles Emery
Emery.33@0osu.edu
614-688-3061
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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