The impact of perceived control on psychological distress and health behavior adherence in patients with cardiovascular disease

Kalon R. Eways, Kymberley K. Bennett, Kadie M. Harry, Jillian M.R. Clark, Elizabeth J. Wilson


Background: Symptoms of depression and anxiety have been shown to negatively impact physical health outcomes among individuals with cardiovascular disease (CVD). Therefore, an important step in developing interventions to reduce risk for cardiac event recurrence is to identify the emotional and cognitive predictors of psychological distress. This study examined one possible cognitive predictor: perceived control (PC). Specifically, this study tested whether symptoms of depression and anxiety mediate the relationship between PC and adherence to health behavior recommendations in patients participating in a cardiac rehabilitation (CR) program.

Methods: Self-report measures were administered to 146 CR patients at the beginning of CR and 12-weeks later, at the end of CR.

Results: Anxiety and depressive symptoms did not mediate the relationship between PC and health behavior adherence. Rather, PC was cross-sectionally related to symptoms of psychological distress, and it predicted health behavior adherence 12-weeks later.

Conclusions: Results imply that PC has long-term effects on health behavior adherence, an important outcome in CR that reduces risk for recurrence.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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