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

ociated with higher income and older age, but African-American patients completed a lower percentage of sessions than did white patients.

Gender, marital status and employment status had no effect on rehab adherence. Though researchers predicted that more education would be linked to fewer irrational health beliefs, that relationship did not pan out.

Though the study could not explain why African Americans were more likely among this group to have irrational health beliefs, Emery suggested that experience with doctors and hospitals could play a role.

"Exposure to the health care system is likely to increase someone's knowledge of medicine, and therefore irrational health beliefs should decrease with more exposure. And good population data suggest that African Americans underutilize health care for various reasons, so that could be one reason for the observed racial difference," he said.

The study also showed that depression was not linked to lower adherence to the rehab program, countering Emery's previous findings that depression was related to poor rehab adherence.

"That was unexpected, to find that depression wasn't related to adherence," Anderson said. "But we did find that patients with more depressive symptoms were also more likely to have irrational health beliefs."

Emery and Anderson suggested that the data support a closer look into irrational health beliefs, and how they might influence such health behaviors as diet, smoking and alcohol use in cardiac patients and in others with chronic health problems. Anderson is currently continuing this work by examining factors that affect behavior after cardiac rehab is finished.


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Contact: Charles Emery
Emery.33@0osu.edu
614-688-3061
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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